The critical fraction

I’ve seen analyses of the long odds the U.S. government would face if it ever attempted to confiscate civilian firearms before. The Mathematics of Countering Tyranny seems like a particularly well done example.

The authors compute that under very generous assumptions there are about 83000 door-knockers available to perform confiscation raids. Dividing that into the estimated number of semiautomatic rifles in the U.S. and assuming that each raid would net three rifles confiscated (which I think is optimistic in the raiders’ favor) each doorknocker would have to execute and survive 864 raids in order for the entire stock of rifles to be seized.

Notice that we’re not even addressing the far larger stock of handguns and other weapons yet. But I’m willing to tilt the conditions of the argument in the confiscators’ favor, because that makes the conclusion more difficult for them to rebut.

There’s a different way to slice these numbers. Applying the 3:1 force ratio military planners like to assume, this means the number of violently resistant gun owners – people willing to shoot a doorknocker rather than watch their country sink into tyranny – needs to be about 249000.

Is this a plausible number?

The NRA has about 5.2 million members. That’s about 1 in 20 NRA members.

According to the General Social Survey in 2013, about 1 in 4 Americans owned guns. That’s 79 million gun owners, and probably an undercount because gun owners are chronically suspicious of the intention behind such questions. But we’ll go with it as an assumption that’s best-case for the doorknockers.

That means that in order to stop attempted gun confiscations dead on a purely force-on-force level, only one in 317 American gun owners needs to remember that our first American Revolution began as spontaneous popular resistance to a gun-confiscation order. Only one in 317 American gun owners need to remember their duty under the U.S. Constitution as members of the unorganized militia – “the body of the people in arms”. Only one in 317 American gun owners need to shoot back.

Is that a plausible fraction? Yes. Yes, I think it is. Count me as one of them.

Why am I publishing these numbers? To persuade the would-be confiscators that their enterprise is doomed to fail in fire and blood, so freedom-loving people never actually have to take on the moral burden of killing them. The fact that we’re ready to do so if we have to does not mean we want that terrible day to arrive.

But eternal vigilance is not the only price of liberty. Eternal deterrence against would-be tyrants – including the threat and in extremis the use of revolutionary violence – is part of that price too. The Founding Fathers understood this. The question is whether a critical fraction of American gun owners today know our duty and would do it.

Here is why I am optimistic on that score: every estimate in this back-of-the envelope calculation has been pushed to the end of the plausible range that favors the confiscators. In fact, the stock of weapons that would need to be confiscated is much larger. The number of gun owners is pretty certainly underestimated. Even getting full compliance with confiscation orders from the agents and local police is unlikely, reducing the effective number of doorknockers.

Correspondingly, the critical fraction of American gun owners that would have to be hard-core enough to resist confiscation with lethal violence in order to stop the attempt is lower than 1 in 317. Probably much lower.

Especially if we responded by killing not merely the doorknockers but the bureaucrats and politicians who gave them their orders. Which would be more efficient, more just, and certain to follow.

1. jdgalt says:

Let’s think like the bad guys would.

If I were the president who wanted to confiscate everybody’s weapons, I would begin by declaring an emergency on a pretext (perhaps “we discovered a terror plot”), and call up the National Guard. (I’d also have stolen the membership lists for NRA, Oath Keepers, and similar groups to target first — and since most of those people are in the police or Guard I’d have them report to bases where nothing is going on, just to keep them from having the opportunity to fight back.)

Then under the emergency order I would have agents ready to shut down phone and internet service to the intended targets of the raid and their families. I would start making the raids on a Monday morning, figuring that most victims won’t know that anything is going on until they get home from work that night, and wait until someone tries to post the news about it before “flipping the kill switch,” so that victims will have trouble spreading the word so that others can either hide their weapons or organize to fight back. (By not “flipping the switch” immediately I avoid alarming people by that act itself.)

Now: How does the public protect against this scenario? My first thought is to establish a sort of “canary” which allies can monitor with an app. But the “canary” cannot just stay the same to show that nothing is wrong, because it’s easy for the enemy to force it to stay the same. Instead I’d create a public/private key pair and have the canary-server post updates (hashes of the date, encrypted with the private key) on a daily basis. Better yet, have a whole flock of these canaries, owned by different individuals; then if a significant percentage of them go down at once, we act.

1. >I would start making the raids on a Monday morning

Your implied timeframe is completely wrong. Remember, in the best case each agent has to survive and successfully execute 864 raids. Let’s make crazily optimistic assumptions; each team can run four raids a day five days a week. You now have a dead minimum of 43 days. In the real world your doorknockers will never be able to sustain anywhere near that operational tempo. Even one raid per day would be unsustainable, so you need to figure it’s going to take close to nine years to execute your sweep.

Even if you could press 1.2 million of the active-duty military into doorknocker service (and there are many, many reasons this is not plausible) you only drop your estimated time to disarmament by a factor of 14. You’re still looking at a bare minimum of six months of full-tempo raids. And that’s if you have zero force attrition – nobody shoots back, nobody in the doorknocker teams gets demoralized or mutinies, everything goes perfectly according to plan.

That means you don’t have the option of blitz raids (“start on a Monday”). You also don’t have the option of shutting down infrastructure to isolate your targets. If you shut down the entire phone and Internet networks your economy will collapse. If you try rolling blackouts, the armed resistance will learn within a week to take “comms go out” as a cue to lock and load, and your confiscation teams will be rolling into hot zones.

Any competent military planner will tell you this is asking for the impossible.

1. Ursus Maritimus says:

You don’t use the existing apparatus of the state to size weapons and kill its enemies. You invite hundreds of thousands of foreigners with promises of plunder and arm them with light weapons from military and NG armories. Give them lists of where to go and where not to go and just let them loose. Then when they have successfully killed your enemies you unleash the military on the foreign looters to avoid having to pay them, and to get a morale-boosting easy victory. “Kill with a borrowed sword.” Do you even Lannister?

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> You invite hundreds of thousands of foreigners with promises of plunder and arm them with light weapons from military and NG armories.

Let’s say 200,000 “foreigners” (from where, by the way?) and 73 million gun owners.

Each foreigner would have to take out 365 gun owners before being killed himself in order to finish the job. That, while operating in a foreign country and sticking out like a sore thumb.

Not going to happen.

> Do you even Lannister?

The Lannisters are fictional characters who inhabit a fictional world, dude.

1. Ursus Maritimus says:

>Let’s say 200,000 “foreigners” (from where, by the way?) and 73 million gun owners.

I imagine you could get millions, tens of millions, of young men willing to do violence if you promise them free looting in the US and sorta-kinda imply that they could stay and live in the US afterwards, even if it should be obvious to them that the US afterwards wouldn’t be what they imagine it to be.
The sources would be anywhere in the third world with endemic domestic violence. Libyan militia. Narcoterrorists. ISIS, Boko Haram, everyone who wants to come.

>Each foreigner would have to take out 365 gun owners before being killed himself in order to finish the job.

There are more where those came from.

>That, while operating in a foreign country and sticking out like a sore thumb.

I would expect them to be unable to move anywhere without looting, shooting and burning everything within reach yes.

“If you voluntarily surrender all contraband and make sure your neighbours have done so as well, the International Friendship Brigades won’t have any reason to search your subdivision!”

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> I imagine you could get millions, tens of millions, of young men willing to do violence if you promise them free looting in the US

Logistics. It’s a thing.

> I would expect them to be unable to move anywhere without looting, shooting and burning everything within reach yes.

I would expect them to be wiped out to a man within a week.

Undisciplined and untrained thugs against people defending their homes? The U.S. military and law enforcement cooperating in this?

Not happening, dude.

1. Ursus Maritimus says:

I interpreted Eric’s original post and the survivalblog link as saying that general confiscations are not possible due to correlation of forces and attempts to actually do it will lead to civil war. His point is that this means it will not happen, since few people are dumb enough to start a civil war they can’t win.

My point, that Ive obviously inexpertly made, is that I don’t think the confiscation side will settle for this. I think this means they will start planning for civil war, start planning to change the correlation of forces, start planning to out-escalate the anti-confiscation side, and try to convince themselves that civil war will be a good thing: “Never let a crisis go to waste”

1. Andrew Phillips says:

If they do that, they’ll hand us casus belli on a silver platter.

A sudden influx of blue helmets, for example, means that whatever purports to be our government no longer is, and should be altered or abolished. Springfield, USA suddenly becoming little Mogadishu or Dearbornistan would likewise justify immediate, strenuous opposition, with or without very permanent recall elections.

1. Retired Lineman says:

Your overthinking the way to disarm the US…. DROP THE ELECTRIC GRID

1. Landroll says:

The confiscators and their cohort have to eat and communicate too. Bright lights while all else is dark is sure to get attention.

2. Ian Argent says:

How are they going to get here? For that matter, any whiff of such a plan (and it will be impossible to keep this a secret) will literally mobilize the 1 in 300 or so.

And even once this barbarian mob is across the oceans, how are you going to keep them “on target?” The point is, nobody (not even the gun owners) knows who those 1 in 300 are, that absolutely must be taken down Day 1.

1. CDR Obvious says:

“They” are already here; example- MS-13

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

And the day after large-scale hostilities begin (possibly even later the same day) an MS-13 tattoo (or any gang tattoo) becomes a uniform, and its bearer, a legitimate target.

2. Dude says:

Don’t forget islam!

2. A.B. Prosper says:

There is also an extreme risk for any nation state willing to send mercenaries.

If Team Freedom wins, Op For and its Janissaries must consider if nuclear ballistic reprisal from the New State will happen.

China on those grounds is the only real threat

Also nobody is too small for a nuke, nobody.

1. Jeff B. says:

Thus the renewal interest in “dial a yeild”…

3. sierra skier says:

Just how do you transport hundreds of thousands, let alone millions of people to do this bidding without an inkling of recognition by those whom you intend to assault?

1. Georgiaboy61 says:

Re: “Just how do you transport hundreds of thousands, let alone millions of people to do this bidding without an inkling of recognition by those whom you intend to assault?”

Answer: UN Refugee Resettlement Program, and its offshoots in the U.S. Dept. of State, religious charities and NGOs – are already importing, to use the words of military analyst William Lind, fourth-generation warfare (4GW).

Between the millions of Mexicans here for the Reconquesta, the various narco-trafficantes and gangs such like MS13, black street gangs like the Crips and Bloods, and the followers of the so-called “religion of peace,” the enemy headcount is probably far-higher than official sources would suggest.

During the eight years of Obama, the various departments of the federal government – including ones without any legitimate need whatsoever, such as the Dept. of Education – began arming up furiously. Massive buys of ammunition, small arms and surplus military gear.

One possible scenario is that from the start all of that ordnance was not intended for fed.gov , but for ‘unspecified actors’ of the kind mentioned above.

Obama, Holder, Clinton, et al. ran guns into Mexico, and again acted as arms smugglers into Syria (via Benghazi). Who is to say they weren’t capable of running guns into the hands of criminals right here in the good old USA?

1. Mr. Frosty says:

Not to mention continuous reinforcements from down south. We’ve already seen “migrant” land routes cleared way that will allow millions of young Mestizo men to simply walk to the border. They will be armed and paid in any loot or White women and children they find.

You guys do know what happened to Rhodesia, right? Haiti? South Africa right now?

4. pkoning says:

I’m reminded of an old story, when a WW One era German general visited Switzerland to observe military exercises. He asked the Swiss general “how many men do you have?” Answer: about half a million. “So what will you do if Germany invades with a million soldiers?” Answer: “Shoot twice and go home.”

On the other hand… some of the pessimistic “what if” stories remind me of the “Enemies” trilogy of Matthew Bracken. If you have not read it, do so, it’s good and worth reading. It assumes a pretty high level of evil on the part of the opposition — perhaps more than is realistic. I hope so.

2. Adam Maas says:

>> Do you even Lannister?

>The Lannisters are fictional characters who inhabit a fictional world, dude.

The Lannisters are a very poorly veiled reference to the Lancasters.

The Lancasters lost.

1. Akatsukami says:

Henry Tudor was not available for comment.

2. l2a3 says:

Yes and they will set their sight to the maximum height so the bullets will go further and hit harder. Ever check out the Mid-east users? Plus they will use Full Auto spray instead of the “One shot one Kill” method, because they are untrained and believe more lead in the air equals more kills. All of this just leaves us with “a target rich environment” for distance engagements. Also wounding them will put such a strain on the medical system, it would come to a screeching halt and the wounded bodies/friends will pile up due to bleed out and non medical care.
That does wonders for their moral seeing and knowing that no one will help you and you will die one, way or the other.

Also the violent removal on Political leaders, management and families and their followers/friends will quickly slow things down.

I pray it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, it will be bloody so, as they say: “Harden you hearts” because you will be “In for a penny, in for a pound”.

It truly hurts because the fools do not believe it could happen here, so they do not care.

1. pdxr13 says:

Don’t forget the aversion to contacting the butt of a stocked select-fire weapon with a Muslim shoulder. “That’s why it has the forward-thingy?”

3. Paranoid fantasy, completely unrealistic. Where would such people come from? What would deter Americans from killing such foreigners who have even less legitimacy than the US government, in attempting this trick?

2. elysianfield says:

Sorry, but there is no need for doorknockers or foreign free-booters.

Do you know how the IRS handles tax resistors? They make examples of them. They confiscate all wealth of the resistor, and put their families on the street…in penury. Neighbors and friends see them as an object lesson.

There is no need for violence. Just have the Government make the weapons, ammunition, reloading gear and components illegal…with threat of massive fines and RICO actions an obvious result of ownership. Make a few very high profile arrests in each state, brutally destroying the victim’s livelihood and wealth…take their homes, vehicles, bank accounts, etc. Make sure the news covers the spectacle of a weeping family living in a cardboard box under the overpass. There will be, of course, rewards for your neighbors and friends who aid in this effort by identifying gun owners.

THEN offer a 3 month amnesty…”turn in your guns and the government will forgive. “. How many law abiding citizens will resist the temptation after observing the consequences and living with the daily fear of discovery?

Rinse and repeat over several years.

The IRS already exists to administer this program.

1. BassmanCO says:

Read Eric’s other responses to this nonsense. If you can’t figure out why this wouldn’t work, you are too short for this ride.

1. elysianfield says:

“If you can’t figure out why this wouldn’t work, you are too short for this ride.”

Really? You have seen it work. NFA weapons (machine guns) were handled thusly after the 1934 firearms act. Too soon to call the program a success…?

1. Ian Bruene says:

You have seen it work.

Exactly.

Forgive me, but this would not work. For a short history of the NFA, see the book “Unintended Consequences” by Ross. He references a 2% compliance rate for machine guns as of 1934. People simply ignored the act in massive numbers and for decades. More importantly, Fed Gov law enforcement quality has gone down since Diversity and Affirmative Action became the watch words of the day. The country is a tense case right now with Antifa and BLM and the rest of their ilk already disrupting things. If you think that seizing a few Americans and making examples will help, you are wrong.
Then there are the supply issues. You might turn in your registered gun, but what are you going to do about the one your 3d Printer turned out this morning?

1. BassmanCO says:

As I said, too short for this ride.

2. Ian Bruene says:

You have it backwards.

“Exactly” as in: “We have seen this before and know what you are up to you lying soystains on the universe.”.

1. elysianfield says:

Well…thank you for the responses. I may be short, but not in respect to experience. Law enforcement, NRA life member since 1970, Class 1,2, and 3 license holder for years.
It has been my observation that the Government is not stupid, and also that many people will express fondness for the kinetic, but after some thought, react otherwise. I have been in the gun culture all my life, and have skin in the game. I just think that the threat will be…asymmetrical
I certainly could be wrong….

2. Tsgt Joe says:

Its not just the IRS. Cross reference any lists of possible gun owners; gun parts, ammo purchased, subscriptions to gun or freedom magazines, memberships to clubs and organizations, now you have an idea who to sqeeze. Do you get social security, vet benefits, retirement benefits, medical insurance. In the socialistic world the government can shut down vast segments of society without firing a shot and if they cant get a handle on you well most folks have family.

2. Orvan Taurus says:

So, if things suddenly go all ConElRad, shoot! ?

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

Wow, there’s a deep memory.

3. Jim says:

The public will protect itself by watching these actions unfold and then starting the executions of ALL federal and state employees on their own without any instructions or orders. We who are watching and listening are not stupid or ignorant. We are identifying and tracking all targets for when the time comes……..

1. pdxr13 says:

As was the case during the 19th century in most of the USA for most Americans, contact with the Federal Government happened when you went to the Post Office. Excepting wars with a draft (slavery), the FedGov should have no regular contact or interest in a private person behaving well. The State might bother you some, like maintaining a registry of Men suitable for Militia duty in case of emergency. At the County level, people get the government they deserve.
IMHO, this would be just about an acceptable amount of interference in my life.

4. Bram says:

I was active military then National Guard. Won’t work. Active duty combat unit way over-represented by conservative places like Texas and the deep south. They would not obey those orders and would probably mutiny.

The National Guard is generally (not universally) made up of more conservative elements of their given states. Do you really think I’d go door-to-door through my own neighborhood and confiscate my own guns?

More likely, I wait unit the armorer issues me my rifle and ammo, then shoot the officer giving the illegal orders. Then I consider the rifle a parting gift for honorable service and take it home.

1. >More likely, I wait unit the armorer issues me my rifle and ammo, then shoot the officer giving the illegal orders. Then I consider the rifle a parting gift for honorable service and take it home.

This is the American way. And I say that with no trace of irony.

2. anonymous says:

You are a man after my own heart.

5. Huhwhome says:

Huhwhome

If I were a want-a-be “Leader” afraid of an armed public I would approach the problem much differently; it would be a long time before I attempted a confiscation like that discussed. First I would try to change certain aspects of American culture. I would make as many people as possible financially or medically dependant on my government. I would try to weaken any groups or organizations that do not have first allegiance to my government, like Churches that believe Gods laws are superior to mine. I would fill my government schools with staff that would assist me with indoctrination of young people. I would try to eliminate the idea that being independent and caring for ones family was the manly thing to do. I would discourage sports such as hunting and shooting. I would try to make the public believe hunting was not a gentlemanly pastime or a basic way to help feed a family in hard times. I would depict it as blood lust done by cruel psychotics. Hand guns would be the brutal weapon of greedy drug dealers and crazed Gang Bangers, not the legitimate tool of good people for self defense. Those who want to carry for protection would be paranoid anti-social types that can’t trust local law enforcement who are our good neighbors willing to risk their life to protect. I would make any and all minority groups such as Gays, Lesbians, Blacks, or recent Latin immigrants think that all those “others” want to exploit them, discriminate against them, and do them physical harm. I would do little or nothing to keep dangerous criminals or demonstrated dangerous mentally ill people off the streets; I would not limit their ability to obtain weapons. I might allow them to be treated with drugs that could make them more violent and then have privacy laws so that no one would know. I would not interfere with realistic, violent video games designed to desensitize people to violence. The goal of all this would be to encourage “Mass shootings” in public places. To maximize emotional effect I might even establish schools as “Gun Free Zones” hoping the violent psycho’s would go there first to do their work. I would allow easy immigration for extremists who think that killing those with different religious beliefs is Gods command. If that didn’t do the trick I might even create some “False Flag” shootings of my own. Then I would organize groups of victims to call for repeal of the Second Amendment, or to help get Supreme Court Justices that would make it toothless. Once the Second Amendment is out of the way I would slowly phase out gun ownership incrementally with dozens of methods, all which have been discussed. If and when the time for confiscation came I would start with a few private “arsenals” of military type weapons. Modern internet and cell phone surveillance techniques would allow me to select some that could be used for maximum propaganda effect. If there was resistance it would be crushed first by local police. The families of killed law enforcement officers would be prominently and constantly in the news. Selective confiscations would gradually expand from there. The death of each dedicated officer or patriotic soldger would be my greatest weapon against you. It would bring the weight of public opinion crashing down on you. You will all be Anti-American insurrectionist violently terrorizing fellow citizens and the legitimate government of the American People.

So, if you intend to have a Civil War I think it will take a little more thought and organization; if you want to avoid one maybe you should work harder to win the hearts and minds of the American people as soon as possible!

1. pdxr13 says:

It looks like the checklist is mostly checked off! It is here in West Coast whitopias of Sea/Pdx. The debate is how (not why or if) to fund all homeless people to improve “equity”: everyone impoverished together, except the .1%. pdx is #1 in child trafficking, cheap/pure heroin, expensive houses, torturing small landlords, and self-congratulation for the new taxes/levy/fees.
Hell yes, I carry a pistol.

6. P says:

Your assuming the National Guard will follow illegal orders. Less than 25% would report for duty. Or they would leave after their weapons were drawn from the arms room. Do not underestimate the where their loyalty lies. It lies in the Oath we all took.

7. Oldfart says:

I’ve read through this thread and am impressed with the math. Unfortunately, in this case the math is being used in a purely theoretical fashion. The numbers have not been backed up with actual personal action.

While we sit at our computers and peck at the keys, the State of California has begun targeted raids on gun owners who have had the audacity to flout the laws their betters have promulgated. Laws for the good of the general population! (/sarc)

We’re acting like the warriors of another paper tiger group; Right to Life. Their websites are full of chest-thumping theoretical arguments too but when someone actually kills an abortionist, thereby saving the lives of perhaps hundreds of babies, the majority of the chest-thumpers wet their pants and hide under the bed while disavowing senseless violence.

A new abortionist moves in and business continues.

This last much-ballyhooed raid was conducted against a “convicted felon.” How do we know this? Why, the government said so, and the government never lies, does it? And even if he was a felon and dangerous to the public – why was he free? But since he was free, why wasn’t he free to own as many guns as he wanted? A cursory search of existing records will show that all those “laws” were passed for our protection by elite legislators that we were bamboozled into electing.

So, who’s at the bottom of this towering pile of horse…, er laws passed to protect us? Why, that group of idiots that drive their new luxury cars to work at the Statehouse of every state in this union. The ones who – while idiotic about some things, are smart enough to hide their addresses, hire bodyguards and wear body armor – all to avoid the attention of the thankful but ‘deplorable’ electorate.

1. >The numbers have not been backed up with actual personal action.

What personal action are you recommending?

The legitimacy collapse hasn’t gone down yet. It is practically, politically, and morally too soon for insurrection. Yes, our duty to the Constitution and our country may yet obligate us to fight, but not to fight stupid or too soon. There’s still hope to avert Der Tag, certainly more hope than if Hillary “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” Clinton were sitting in the White House. And much more hope than before Heller.

I’m not being confrontational, I’m asking a serious question. What can we do that we’re not doing?

2. And interesting analysis. Now, thinking out loud: What other examples of government confiscation have occurred in US history and how are they similar and different?

One example is FDR’s 1933 confiscation of all gold in private hands (above a trivial amount, and with certain narrow exceptions). This was done through “Executive Order 6102”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102

What other types of *general* confiscation of private property (as opposed to individual takings) have occurred in US history?

1. l2a3 says:

Hawaii in WWII, Weapons confiscated due to the fear of the Japanese on the Islands conducting 5 column operations.

3. Winter says:

First, this meme of government lead raids on private homes is a bogus conspiracy theory. Anyone believing in it shows clearly that he has lost contact with reality.

In short, you are thinking the wrong problem. No one will be mad enough to try armed raids on a sizeable fraction of the population. I have to qualify that. No one but Trump would be mad enough.

The way to do this is much easier, take a lesson from the drug trade:

1) Forbid the sale and trade of unlicensed fire arms and ammunition, enforce that rule. Allow only guns that are fit for what they are licensed for, hunting, personal self defense, etc.

2) Start a generous buy back program for arms and ammunition

3) Put heavy fines and even jail time on the possession of an unlicensed fire arm or ammunition

4) Clamp down heavily on ammunition and stuff needed to make ammunition yourself

5) Put a bounty on guns and ammunition combined with random traffic checks,

No 100% gun free society, but there will be a consistent decline of gun ownership over the years.

1. photondancer says:

It will be interesting to see just how many of the readers here will agree with you that stopping city-wide looting and crime counts as an example of ‘insanity’.

1. Well, count me as one.

Stipulate that you have a breakdown of law and order: The police and other law enforcement agencies have become ineffective in stopping crime in a flooded city. So you’re trying to bring law enforcement back on line. And the first thing you do is go in and take away the means of self-protection from all the people you have been unable to protect? You do that before you actually do any real protecting against real injuries, and you call that confiscation “protection”? Yeah, that’s insanity all right.

1. jfre says:

The citizens of Boston willfully gave up their 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendment rights without a whisper. Knock Knock Knock. You need to leave your house with your hands up so we can search it without a warrant. Shut up and get out.

1. jfre says:

State animal of Massachusetts — The Sheep

1. Dan says:

Wasn’t this done under the ‘exigent circumstances’ of trying to find 2 terrorists that had just blown a fuckton of people up at the marathon?

They weren’t kicking down doors to confiscate property…as bad as those optics are, they were at least looking for legitimate bad guys.

2. Sigivald says:

Most of us?

“Take every gun from everyone* because there are looters!” strikes me as very close to “insanity”, yes.

(* “Except cops and private security, because shut up.”)

1. I have to agree with this, albeit I don’t like to. I Even just banning the sale of ammunition would have “interesting” effects. I am not an expert, but in my mind a gun itself is the less important part, it is mostly just an elaborate thing around the ammo that makes it go accurately. If you have ammo and no gun, you could probably make a smoothbore single shot pipe gun easily from a pipe and something to use as a hammer and hit something if you go close enough. But an expensive sniper rifle without ammo is useless. I think.

So if this happens, existing stocks of ammo get expensive on the black market, and more and more as they run out, and after a while basically everybody stops practicing in the range. People stockpile what is left for emergencies. Some ammo will be smuggled in, but the price of a bullet will be the price of a gram of coke and the whole thing will mirror illegal drug trade. As people’s shooting skills get rusty, I don’t know what happens but probably what happens will be in the favor of the gun-grabbers. For example, self-defense shootings will be wildly inaccurate, hitting bystanders, generating outrage.

On the other hand… even the war on drugs is nowhere near to victory so I think this would also a very long, drawn-out thing with no conclusive results. I don’t think it would end up being an effective and functional ban, it would be more like that of drugs, or the equivalent of trying to prohibit wine in France as Americans like guns easily as much.

But it could make the life of gun owners about as difficult as the life of potheads (was before the medical marijuana thing).

1. No.
If TPTB tried to ban ammunition purchases, I’d fire a few rounds into a black-and-white, and take charge of everything on the former door-kickers’ belts, in their patrol bags, and any weapons I could carry off.

Now you’re short two more door-kickers, and I’ve spent five or ten rounds and come up with 100-500 more, plus several more unregistered weapons. Oh, and their radios badges and identification.

Word of mouth on this would spread so fast via everything from HAM radio to hand-carried crib noted and thumb drives, you couldn’t get ahead of it with the Millennium Falcon.

Meanwhile, all of those doorkickers, barely able to handle normal crime, find out they have no chance in hell once the formerly law-abiding citizens declare open season on them. The brighter ones shoot their leadership, and declare a militia in rebellion. The average-bright ones won’t be able to help shedding their uniforms fast enough to avoid being taken out pro-actively. So by the end of Day Two, I’ve split your forces, your imaginary force of door-kickers is gone with the wind, and I have command and control plus great intelligence on where the confiscator’s centers of command and control are, and how they work, and an ad hoc army only too willing to take them on.
I couldn’t buy that kind of loyalty, and you’d give it to me for free, in mere hours.

Keep going with that plan.

By Day Three, you’re running out of not just door kickers, but order givers, as the top three tiers are all dead, under arrest, or swinging from lamp posts, their underlings don’t know whether to sh*t or go blind, and the hordes of illiterate savages you imported as cannon fodder realize there’s no percentage in playing the game, and are cowering on the beach or at the airport, meekly mewling to please be taken back to Trashcanistan, where they came from, and can kill their own people unmolested.

We’ll probably kill them all anyways, on general principles.

And at the next election, in about a month, it’ll be a landslide for actual constitutional conservatives, and the Democrat Party and big state Republicrats will find themselves the Nazi party officials of the 21st century, in the 1946 incarnation.

For the 18 survivors who make it out of the country before the mass hangings start, it will be a short, but interesting life.

This has all the predictability of a game of tic-tac-toe.

I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve…

Bring it, Leftards. I’ve probably only got enough supplies to take out the forces of half the county you’d send to get my guns, and anything after the first one is free for me. And I’m an even-tempered sweep-the-sidewalks and clean-up-after-your-dog kind of guy.

Imagine what the really crazy mofos of similar mind will get up to in about 0.2 seconds after you kick things off.

1. >Bring it, Leftards. I’ve probably only got enough supplies to take out the forces of half the county you’d send to get my guns, and anything after the first one is free for me. And I’m an even-tempered sweep-the-sidewalks and clean-up-after-your-dog kind of guy.

TheDividualist: I think this guy is overoptimistic about how fact the collapse of the confiscation effort would go down, and not all Americans are like him – we have a lot of squishes in the coastal cities. But yeah, enough of us are like this, including entire states in the Mid- and Mountain West. It would not end well for the grabbers.

1. There is an angle from which you and others like you in the thread deserve a lot of praise from me: this time libertarians think quite darkly enlightened and I like that.

I mean, when leftards say “we can take the property of the rich and use it for social services” the libertarian typically says “no, we cannot take their property for ethical and economical reasons”.

But in this case the libertarian says “no, you won’t take our guns”.

The difference between the two discussions lies in the usage of “we”, “them, “you”. In the first case the libertarian made the mistake of accepting the leftards framework that the property owners are “they” and “we” are those who can take it, and “we” are just arguing if we should or not.

In the second, current case the libertarian correctly identified who is the “we” and who is the “they”, the “us” vs. “the” them, “they” want to take “our” guns.

In the first case he was duped into thinking he is talking with a well-meaning but silly ally. In the second case he correctly identfied an enemy.

More of this, please!

2. >If TPTB tried to ban ammunition purchases, I’d fire a few rounds into a black-and-white, and take charge of everything on the former door-kickers’ belts, in their patrol bags, and any weapons I could carry off.

I think this would be over-hasty. A lot of places, including my town, the local cops would be allies against an unconstitutional gun grab, if you didn’t put yourself in the “enemy” category by shooting them first.

1. Greg says:

He’d likely be dealing with something like LAPD. AKA *not* allies of anything reasonable or decent.

3. I actually like this talk – I am in no way a Leftard. But talk is cheap and I wonder how many who talk the talk would also walk the walk. Paging also @ESR here, yes, this attitude may be popular *verbally*, but just like no one knows how much an army worths before it starts bleeding, you know these things only when signals get costly thus honest, and there is real skin in the game. My question is to both of you is how high a % of those who talk this talk did *any* sort of personal sacrifice or took any sort of personal risk into this direction, constituting a costly honest signal?

Anything counts that is a significant personal risk, cost, discomfort, or pain.

I would have also a weird, more meta-question. Why do I see this rather fierce attitude on a libertarian blog whose community is otherwise quite moderate and not in any ways “far right extremist” – nobody is using racist or homophobic slurs here, for example, nobody got called a cuck, and so on. And why don’t I see this attitude amongst the white nationalists with cartoon frogs on 4chan who do far more like what the media’s version of a “far right extremist” is, throwing the N-word here and gassing the J’s there. Compared to that this community is something like a political moderate. Why do I see more of this personal fierceness here than there?

Is it – age? I am 40 and I always get the older than me vibe here and the younger than me vibe on 4chan.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Is it – age? I am 40 and I always get the older than me vibe here and the younger than me vibe on 4chan.

You ever hear the saying “Never pick a fight with an old man. A young man may try to fight you. An old man will just shoot you.”?

2. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

Quote from Dividualist: “My question is to both of you is how high a % of those who talk this talk did *any* sort of personal sacrifice or took any sort of personal risk into this direction, constituting a costly honest signal?”

No-one can say for sure. It will be more than some believe and less than some believe. None of us can be sure we will eat what is set before us… even if we had a similar menu offered in recent years, or decades ago.

But something not to be underestimated in my view is mental as well as physical preparation; visualize the task, practice the task, attempt the task, succeed in the task is a much more likely road to success than “I think I won’t, I doubt I could, I’ve never done it before, I’ll never be able to do it”. In this, as in the rest of life.

Something more not to be underestimated; Old Guy Rules. What do we have to lose?

3. >how high a % of those who talk this talk did *any* sort of personal sacrifice or took any sort of personal risk into this direction, constituting a costly honest signal?

I don’t know what you would consider an honest signal. Can you give a specific example?

>Why do I see this rather fierce attitude on a libertarian blog whose community is otherwise quite moderate and not in any ways “far right extremist” – nobody is using racist or homophobic slurs here, for example, nobody got called a cuck, and so on. And why don’t I see this attitude amongst the white nationalists with cartoon frogs on 4chan who do far more like what the media’s version of a “far right extremist” is, throwing the N-word here and gassing the J’s there. Compared to that this community is something like a political moderate. Why do I see more of this personal fierceness here than there?

That is a really intelligent question! And I think the answer is not actually complicated.

We, the gun-toting gut libertarians without an actually prejudiced bone in our bodies, are the heart of America. We’re what’s real. We’re grounded in love of liberty, patriotism and the folk traditions of our country; we’re the heirs of 1776 and the Emancipation Proclamation. We are ever vigilant against tyrants, but we are defined by what we love and value rather than what we hate. You observe that we are “moderate” by your standards; that’s true, because it’s not really American to conserve anything except the institutions of liberty – and, to a limited extent, its historic symbols.

When Robert Heinlein wrote “An armed society is a polite society,” that’s us he was talking about. Not because we fear each other (as his next sentence might imply) but because we have the self-discipline that must go with having death at your right hand and knowing those around you do too. We walk in dignity.

The alt-righters and the cuck-shouters are media-generated froth. They’re creatures of resentment, defined by what they hate. Granted, some of what they hate is genuinely hate-worthy, and they’re much better at satire than we are. But they’re shallow; they’re not for anything. They have no dignity. Even the tiny sick minority of neo-Nazis isn’t really “for” Naziism; they’re acting out a resentment of smothering left-wing identity politics that is its exact mirror image.

It’s hard to know this from outside because our media are largely willing accomplices in a cultural-Marxist war against the foundations of liberty. They want you to believe that every gun-owner is an old white dude with a Klan hood hanging in his closet, because…well, I think you can fill in that blank easily enough. Class warfare is part of it too; despite the alliance of a few Ivy-educated coastal elite urbanites like me, the “fierce” gun culture has largely been a rural and working-class phenomenon (though that may be changing now) while our media is full of overclass tools entertaining a hilarious delusion that they are rebels.

The “extreme right” and the “extreme left” feed on each other. They need each other. And to pursue their culture war the Left needs to lump the real Americans, the vast patriotic center, in with the haters and racists. And it needs to disarm us, but we’re not having that. We know where that ends. Some of us are Jewish and have folk memories of Gestapo kicking down the doors on Kristallnacht; the rest of us heeded the lesson, if we didn’t already know it. Next time they try it on the stormtroopers are going to get a faceful of bullets.

The fierceness comes from knowing what’s important. Knowing what’s worth dying for, and what’s worth killing to defend. For all their pumped-up wrath, the 4chan “right” has no grasp on this, no moral center. And Trump’s base…well, a lot of them are us, but too many of the louder ones are so distorted by their anger that they too have become resentment-fueled creatures of shallow wrath. That’s where your cuck-shouters come from.

(Not that Trump’s voters don’t have cause. The elites of this country really have been failing them, screwing them over, and then heaping insult on top of their injuries for decades. I feel some guilt for my own part in this failure, even though it was passive and almost immeasurably small. I should have paid better attention, sooner. But I too was in my own way somewhat class-blinded.)

I hope this clarifies matters somewhat.

1. Deep Lurker says:

There may also be an element of “an armed society is a polite society” at work here. (I would add the gloss that it’s only an armed society when the old men and young women are armed too.)

1. >There may also be an element of “an armed society is a polite society” at work here. (I would add the gloss that it’s only an armed society when the old men and young women are armed too.)

That is such a good point that I am editing it in.

2. Thank you. It seems the patriotic center is not good at getting political representation. It sounds because the p.c. considers metapolitics more important. Politically they may be mostly libertarian, but fighting some stupid environmental regulation is not the highest priority. Which would be political. Guns are metapolitical in the sense that it sounds like the importance is in defending and guaranteeing other rights. Like the Constitution itself. So a metapolitical focus may be the reason of not being good at winning the political fights. Just a hunch.

4. Maximillian says:

” anything after the first one is free”, This is the real math. I am not an operator. I am just an old dude with bad knees.
But, all I have to do is take out one. You take out one. He takes out one. We win on sheer numbers. After the left’s enforcers are gone then the hangings can commence.

2. > The way to do this is much easier, take a lesson from the drug trade:

What you failed to note, or deliberately ignored, is that the so-called “Drug War” in the USA has utterly failed. Drugs are readily available essentially everywhere, the number of deaths and other ill effects due to drug abuse are still at critically high levels, and *most importantly* the violence associated with the illicit drug trade is one of the drivers of the high levels of “gun violence” you are decrying.

Note that e.g. your country (the Netherlands) and Portugal have both successfully adopted strategies of decriminalization, which has led to lower rates of the various social ills associated with drug abuse.

> No 100% gun free society, but there will be a consistent decline of gun ownership over the years.

More likely a consistent decline of “known” gun ownership, but probably not a substantial reduction in the actual number of guns. Locations in the US that have criminalized the possession of firearms (Chicago, Washington DC) have very high levels of gun violence.

1. Winter says:

“What you failed to note, or deliberately ignored, is that the so-called “Drug War” in the USA has utterly failed. ”

That depends on what you think the war on drugs intended to do. It is very instructive to read what that was according to Nixon’s aid John Ehrlichman:
https://www.vox.com/2016/3/22/11278760/war-on-drugs-racism-nixon

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

I think the War on Drugs was a resounding success in criminalizing young people and destroying the black community. Obviously, legal recreational drugs are just as dangerous as alcohol. And when legal, they will affect communities just as much, or little as alcohol does. Remember, when alcohol was criminalized during the abolition, the result was the same community destroying violence as we have seen in the war on drugs.

Likewise, when guns are criminalized, the effects on the gun owning communities will be just as destructive. The point is not to get rid of all guns, just as it was not the point to get rid of all recreational drugs. It is the disruption of the communities will make the guns ineffective. If you cannot organize the right people, you will be powerless.

1. Jeremy says:

This, I think, is the most honesty I’ve seen out of a confiscationist in a while: that the point of onerous restrictions isn’t to get rid of the guns, but to destroy the community of gun owners.

Many gun owners cottoned onto this years ago. Many more are now realizing it. Which is why gun owners push back against any and all possible regulation. We know that the stated reason of reducing crime and violence is a lie: the real reason is to slowly destroy a fundamental part of American culture.

1. Winter says:

That is your well nourished paranoia speaking. Not everyone is as dishonest and devious as followers of Nixon and Trump.

1. Jim says:

It’s not paranoia, when they *are* out to get you

Your statist desires are noted.

1. Winter says:

“It’s not paranoia, when they *are* out to get you”

But that is the delusion. Only the insane and deluded think there will be a national armed raid to confiscate guns, and those who watch Fox News.

Why start a civil war when you can reach the same goals with taxes, fines, and some information campaigns. And the goal is not to wipe out all guns from civilian hands, but just to reduce the number of guns and their use.

2. Rick C says:

“Not everyone is as dishonest and devious as followers of Nixon and Trump.”

This is pretty funny coming from someone dumb enough to think that Trump, of all people, would be willing to start door-to-door confiscations.

1. Winter says:

If gun owners piss him off, he will.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

Like lots of things American, Winter’s knowledge of Trump comes from CNN.

CNN Europe, not CNN America.

3. Jeremy says:

> That is your well nourished paranoia speaking. Not everyone is as dishonest and devious as followers of Nixon and Trump.

Dude, you just out-and-out said that the point of policies advocated by ones such as yourself is to destroy the gun community. In case you forgot in the space of the 32 hours between your two posts, here’s the one I replied to:

I think the War on Drugs was a resounding success in criminalizing young people and destroying the black community. Obviously, legal recreational drugs are just as dangerous as alcohol. And when legal, they will affect communities just as much, or little as alcohol does. Remember, when alcohol was criminalized during the abolition, the result was the same community destroying violence as we have seen in the war on drugs.

Likewise, when guns are criminalized, the effects on the gun owning communities will be just as destructive. The point is not to get rid of all guns, just as it was not the point to get rid of all recreational drugs. It is the disruption of the communities will make the guns ineffective. If you cannot organize the right people, you will be powerless.

You seem, in one second , to recognize that attempting to ban guns will not improve violent crime, and may in fact exacerbate it, and that the actual point of such a policy is to destroy a subculture intrinsic to the US since its founding. And in the next second, when someone agrees with you on that, oh no, that’s just your well nourished paranoia.

You think that a facet of America’s culture should be destroyed so said culture can be made resemble something closer to a European one. You’ve stated to such effect numerous times every time the topic of firearms comes up on this blog, in varying degrees of directness. For fuck’s sake you coward, grow a damned spine and own your thoughts and opinions. Speak them plain and clear and stand up tall and proud in your enmity of American culture.

1. Winter says:

Our host wrote in the original article:
“I’ve seen analyses of the long odds the U.S. government would face if it ever attempted to confiscate civilian firearms before.”

In an answer to his flawed analysis, I wrote this sentence
“Likewise, when guns are criminalized, the effects on the gun owning communities will be just as destructive.”

Eric does not advocate the US government to do this, and I was posting a hypothetical policy to answer the same hypothetical. He sets up an argument about a hypothetical raid by the US government, I explain that there are better ways to reach this hypothetical aim.

That you are bend on arguing that this must be what I want is just as preposterous as claiming that Eric wants these nationwide armed raids.

1. Hypotheticals, eh? Sure, whatever.

But you seriously don’t understand some deeply important things about how Americans tick. There’s no shame in this – I don’t understand some deeply important things about how Netherlanders think.

But the 10 years since the Heller decision has seen a very interesting sea change in the gun control debate here. The Gun Banners have become increasingly strident about confiscation (often referred to as the “Australian Option”) while Gun owners have been radicalized in a way I haven’t seen before.

It’s to the extent that a LOT of gun owners don’t have any use for the NRA because they compromise too much.

While there’s a lot to agree with in the proposition that both sides want to keep the issue alive for fund raising, the amount of funds raised suggests very strongly that both sides rank-and-file have become very radicalized.

We’re approaching the reckoning. People view your “hypotheticals” through that lens.

1. >The Gun Banners have become increasingly strident about confiscation (often referred to as the “Australian Option”) while Gun owners have been radicalized in a way I haven’t seen before.

Let’s be explicit about the causal link: the people who had the most extreme, negative, lying-bastards model of what “gun-control” activists had been doing turned out to be correct.

One of the people radicalized by this realization was me.

1. First, a lot of people seem to come into these debates thinking they have some incredible new proposal that will solve everything, and are then offended when gun owners say, simultaneously, “We’ve seen that before and we will not comply because it is a false front for confiscation.” People often take that as a personal rejection of their shiny new common sense idea and an accusation of personal bad faith.

The accusation of bad faith is not personal. You, personally, may be perfectly happy with just one more slice of pie, and you may be perfectly willing to apply the law fairly and with due process.

The people actually in positions to write the laws and enforce them after they are passed do not get the same benefit of the doubt. We know they are malicious, deceitful liars. We know a lot of the advocates are too (“I’m a gun owner, but…” is a cliche for a reason).

So if you really are sincere, don’t take it personally. You’re a pawn and you can’t see the hand moving you. We can, from bitter experience. Sorry, but it’s true.

Second, about reasons for radicalization on this issue. Probably the single biggest event that formed my political opinions was the Waco massacre.

Fundamentally, I just want to be left alone. I’ve seen what the government is willing to do to people who just wanted to be left alone. I’m not willing to trust the government with the sole people to use force, because they will abuse it. The second amendment is there to ensure that, at the very least, there will be a fight before a tyrant takes over.

2. Andrew Phillips says:

Hey, Borepatch.

My dad taught me and my sister to shoot when we single-digit kiddos. I’ve been a gun owner in my own right since ’04 or ’05, but I was a passive supporter of the RKBA movement, rather than an active member of it.The thing that got me off the bench, so to speak, was hearing Madame Secretary Shrillery, back in ’09, blame the violence of the Mexican Cartels on US gun owners with statistics to blatantly absurd that they demanded rebuttal. I think I had already discovered Sipsey Street and WRSA, so I knew that the bravo-sierra for what it was. I couldn’t stand being lied at, and slandered, any longer, so I wrote a letter to my home-town paper explaining the epic math fail she was trying to peddle.

I lost all interest in compromise a long time ago. The only concession I’m willing to make is to be patient while the folks who oppose us – the moderates at least – come to their senses and the hardline hoplophobes realize they’ve lost. I want to win hands down because our legislatures discover that maintaining our current system of prior restraints amounts to political suicide. The day Congress repeals the GCA of 68 will be a very good day; the day the NFA dies will be even better. I may not live to see it, but I think the tide has turned far enough in our favor that it’s not entirely impossible. As we keep gaining ground, while the other side’s OK-Corral, blood-in-the-streets alarmism over each proposed restoration of our liberty proves baseless, the opposition to our cause appears more and more like madness.

I’m well aware of the fact that NRA has drawn its line in the sand land squarely in the middle of the road and the national leadership has a marked tendency to lead from behind. That knowledge makes the other side’s ‘hardline NRA’ talking points bitterly ironic. Still, we’re taking flak, so we must be over the target. I’ll start worrying about the NRA when they stop trying to discredit and destroy us. Until then, watching our membership grow and our resolve harden while the other side is trying to soften and weaken us is just plain fun.

Andrew

2. Why the hell would anyone want to destroy the black community? This sounds like pointless cartoonish evil and stories like that are usually false. The primary problem associated with blacks is violent crime, and destroying the community could only lead to more of it, not less. I am pretty sure no actual person ever said “I want to make being black illegal but sadly I can’t”, it makes no sort of sense whatsoever. Does anyone in Bulgaria want to make being a gypsy illegal? No, the primary problem is that they are already doing a lot of illegal things. The only possible motive could be prison slave labor, and that is an extremely inefficient use of human resources. In the modern economy it is very hard to make that kind of labor anything like profitable, convicts are usually a net negative on the budget.

1. Winter says:

“Why the hell would anyone want to destroy the black community?”

Why the hell would a politician want to destroy the communities that oppose him? Communities that were active in, say, the civil rights movement that many of Mr Nixon’s voters abhorred and would like to turn back? And why would we think Mr Nixon was such a ruthless figure that he would contemplate such a thing?

Are you serious?

Btw, this is from the mouth of one of his personal advisors who was there at the time shaping the very same policies. I take eye witness account over fact-free opinion every time.

1. But this implies seeing blacks as one homogenous community. I don’t think it was MLK’s well dressed, highly religious marchers who turned into crack dealers. Every ethnic community has internal stratification.

1. keep it anonymous says:

>I don’t think it was MLK’s well dressed, highly religious marchers who turned into crack dealers.

https://georgehahn.com/the-1963-march-on-washington-dress-code/

this was just the top result on google, but youre conflating current era fashion with a completely different time and outlook. everybody had church clothes.

1. BassmanCO says:

Yeah, wasn’t it LBJ who was quoted as saying, “We’ll have those niggers voting for us for the next two-hundred years.”? I mean maybe that is why they destroyed the black community, to get them continually voting democrat.

2. William O. B'Livion says:

In this case it wasn’t so much the black community as a whole as it was the civil rights movement which was receiving funding from entities inimical to the United States.

2. albatross says:

The drug war has failed, but we’ve got 30+ years of jack-booted thuggery on the part of the drug warriors, against armed and organized drug dealers, without a whole lot of organized resistance of the kind you’re predicting.

1. Because there’s not a whole lot of wide-spread sympathy for those dealers. There may well be sympathy for decriminalization, or for the “plight” of the “urban oppressed”, but not for hoodlums.

Upstanding citizens (whisper it – especially the ones who are *not* of color) who are getting gunned down in their own homes for peacefully possessing firearms?

You Betcha there will be a “whole lot of organized resistance”!

1. Winter says:

The whole point is that there are easy ways to criminalize possession of anything. And there is never a valid reason to gun down peaceful people. At least not in civilised countries. So, instead of arming up civilian s, you could civilize your police force.

1. Jim says:

people coming to steal my property, I, who have committed no malum in se crime, are *not* innocent.

But it’s good to see the statists like Winter and Read show their stripes.

1. Winter says:

dura lex, sed lex
(The law is harsh but it is the law)

I understand that it is tough to live with other people.

@Jim
“people coming to steal my property, I, who have committed no malum in se crime, are *not* innocent. ”

This has always been the defense of slave owners against abolitionists. And also f those who robbed others of their land and home when they demanded it back.

1. Andrew Phillips says:

Behaving as though one owns other people actually is mala in se. A claimed right to property in another human being is always bogus. Guns are not people, therefore they are legitimately property. As such, we may rightly assert that owning them is and ought to be a sacred, inviolate right.

Would you like to try again, without the false equivalency?

1. Winter says:

Not every property is sacred. Communities have always had rules to disown stuff that is considered dangerous or immoral.

1. The Walkin' Dude says:

Our BoR are “rules” that people, whether a majority or not, cannot simply “vote” away. That’s why we are a republic, not a democracy.

2. Winter says:

“That’s why we are a republic, not a democracy.”

All democracies have rules for qualified majorities.

Anyhow, the interpretation of the texts in your BoR change over time. The current interpretation is not uncontested.

3. Jay Maynard says:

“the interpretation of the texts in your BoR change over time”

This is not a feature. Fortunately, we’re getting more and more Supreme Court Justices who recognize that and are working to change it.

4. William O. Blivion says:

Firearms are neither dangerous nor immoral.

2. Doctor Locketopus says:

> dura lex, sed lex
> (The law is harsh but it is the law)

And the law here is that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

So?

1. Landroll says:

As some one said, the law is the law because it can put a gun to your head.

2. Winter says:

Laws and their interpretation always change.

The part about “well regulated militia” could one day be enforced.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> The part about “well regulated militia” could one day be enforced.

Translation: you are a dishonest idiot.

2. It is not the “well regulated militia” that has the right to keep and bear arms. The people have the right. The militia is formed from the people, bearing their own arms. As intended, those arms would have been of military standard.

If that part of the clause ever returns to popular favor, we will add tank shows to gun shows, our boat races will include cannon drills, and rich football players will be arrested for aerial dogfighting..

3. The part about “well regulated militia” could one day be enforced.

If you want to change the meaning of words, why not change the meaning of “firearm” to “puppies-n-rainbows”? See how easy it is?

This is why it seems that this may end up in gunfire. Because one side is dishonest and playing word games.

4. Winter says:

Once upon a time, the Supreme Court allowed slavery under the US constitution. On another day, they did not. Once upon a time, women could not vote, then they could. And so on.

And so it was with the Second Amendment too. The meaning of those 27 words are not clear at all (and their combination is not even grammatical):

So You Think You Know the Second Amendment?

For more than a hundred years, the answer was clear, even if the words of the amendment itself were not. The text of the amendment is divided into two clauses and is, as a whole, ungrammatical: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The courts had found that the first part, the “militia clause,” trumped the second part, the “bear arms” clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms—but did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/so-you-think-you-know-the-second-amendment

5. Larry says:

Once upon a time, the Supreme Court allowed slavery under the US constitution. On another day, they did not.

The Supreme Court didn’t “allow” slavery and then later didn’t. The Constitution allowed it as a compromise in order to get the southern states to buy in to it. Following the bloody Civil War, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution (abolishing slavery, granting citizenship and equal legal and civil rights to ex-slaves, and guaranteed their right to vote) were ratified by the states. The Supreme Court played no role in that.

Once upon a time, women could not vote, then they could.

Again, the Supreme Court had nothing to do with it. The 19th Amendment giving the franchise to women was ratified by the states.

The 2nd Amendment stuff is equally far off base.

3. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

At Winter: Holy Strawman Analogy, Batman! With Extra False Equivalence…

1. Andrew Phillips says:

Well, he does think the New Yorker, The Grauniad, and CNN are relevant sources for a prog-splanation of the Second Amendment.

1. >Well, he does think the New Yorker, The Grauniad, and CNN are relevant sources for a prog-splanation of the Second Amendment.

“How could you tell I was lying?”

“Yer lips were moving.”

2. clark e myers says:

Were it easy to civilize a police force it would be unnecessary. Civilize the population. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Trotsky wrote a lovely piece about the civilized daily life of the socialist man – though it takes him a while to get to the point – after all the changes Communism would bring. Communism didn’t bring quite those changes. No omelet to go with the broken eggs. Thomas Jefferson (left slavery aside) while painting a lovely picture of the good life, Jefferson gave us his view of the yeoman famer sitting home after the sun sets reading Attic Greek classics in the original. Neither life on the frontier nor life under Communism matches up with Rousseau.

Consider the record of the police force in Chicago Illinois – Chicago connections to power omitted as an exercise for the reader – where police torture and frame and a Daley connection allows killing with relative impunity. In Chicago violent criminal gangs have replaced the Black Church as allies of the political machine to keep the corrupt in office and in control. Nobody alive today has seen a time when a Chicago policeman – or any other aspect of public life in Chicago – was civilized.

Civilizing imposed from outside is no alternative at all. Can’t be done.

Happens I live in a small town based on an agricultural economy where the vast majority of people own firearms. Constitutional carry applies but almost everyone has had good formal training at least at the 4H and Hunter Safety level. I’ve known the Sheriff for half his life and half of mine and he is indeed civilized to the point where at a minimum – in the circumstances described – he would call and say they’re coming for your guns don’t be home. As a generalization Heinlein was wrong, Yemen is not a polite society. As an observation Heinlein was right. THIS armed society is polite.

1. Winter says:

“Were it easy to civilize a police force it would be unnecessary.”

The fact that it is not easy does not mean it is not necessary. Building water utilities and sewers was not easy, nor cheap. It still had to be done.

It is not impossible. There are whole countries where the police force is polite and does not kill people.

1. Yes, and they make most of their living from tourism and selling postage stamps and tchotchkes.
Like Luxembourg, Monaco, Lichtenstein, Andorra.
Oh, and Disneyland.

1. Winter says:

Canada, Germany, UK making their living from selling postage stamps? You do not get around much, do you?

1. clark e myers says:

As for Canada it’s a poor example for a civilized police: It’s not just the RCMP: Police culture is toxic
LESLEY BIKOS
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED MAY 17, 2017
UPDATED MAY 17, 2017
Lesley J. Bikos, a former officer for the London police service, is a PhD candidate in sociology at Western University working on a nationwide study of Canadian police officers and the impact of police culture on their on- and off-duty lives.

Then again as for the UK: The Guardian view on Worboys and the police: moral and legal dereliction
Editorial
The courts have found that the Met failed in its civic duty to serve victims of a heinous crime. As a society we will have to confront the role of the victim in the post-sentencing process too
Wed 21 Feb 2018 13.28 EST and of course all the grooming issues. Or again: Police chief admits ‘cultural problem’ with evidence disclosure
CPS or forces’ failure to disclose stopped 900 criminal cases in England and Wales going ahead
Matthew Weaver and Jamie Grierson
Wed 24 Jan 2018 05.05 EST
First published on Wed 24 Jan 2018 03.15 EST

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The CPS said the number represented 0.15% of prosecutions, but there were ‘systemic disclosure issues’. Photograph: Clara Molden/PA
Police forces have a “cultural problem” with disclosure of evidence, a chief constable has said, after it emerged that 900 criminal cases in England and Wales were dropped last year.
Figures obtained by the BBC under freedom of information showed charges against 916 people had been dropped in 2016-17 due to a failure to disclose evidence, up 70% from 537 in 2014-15.

Germany: July 08, 2017 06:52 PM
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In light of Friday’s rioting, recent statements made by Hamburg officials ahead of the G-20 seem naive in the extreme. One came from the Hartmut Dudde, the head of operations for the Hamburg police, who said: “If we say here’s where things stop, then that’s where they stop. We will also take action. We’re not going to wait if crimes are being committed.”
Another statement came from his boss, Hamburg Police Chief Ralf Martin Meyer. “We are better prepared than we ever have been,” he boasted in the run-up to the G-20.
And then, of course, there’s the statement from Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz, who promised the city’s residents: “Don’t worry, we can guarantee your safety.”
But on Friday, July 7, none of these sentences applied. Even that morning, a marauding gang was raging through the Hamburg neighborhoods of Ottensen and Altona, setting cars on fire by the dozens. Later in the day, a mob raged for hours in the alternative Schanzenviertel neighborhood, long a hotbed of leftist activity. They broke windows, lit barricades on fire, looted stores and threatened to kill police. Many would later say hyperbolically that it was like “a war zone.” Others described the scene as anarchy — as though the state had receded before the mob. Spiegel

Civilized police like good government exists here and there but for my money it’s an accident of fate. Impossible to guarantee and when it does occur not to be preserved.

2. Andrew Phillips says:

The UK is such a shining example of a happy, safe and disarmed society that the Brits are now talking about grinding the points off their kitchen knives in order to prevent ‘knife violence.’

3. >The UK is such a shining example of a happy, safe and disarmed society that the Brits are now talking about grinding the points off their kitchen knives in order to prevent ‘knife violence.’

When, of course, the actual way to address what they oh so euphemistically call their “knife violence” problem would be to stop importing savages who scream “Allahu Akbar!” as they slash their victims. When they’re not busy raping underage girls, that is.

2. Doctor Locketopus says:

You Euros might want to wait until the Holocaust has passed out of living memory before patting yourself on the back too hard.

1. Winter says:

Actually, your president admires Hitler. We do not have to wait. We can just look at what is happening now in the USA.

The part about children locked up in camps brings back memories from my own history lessons in primary school.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

Link to any direct quote from Trump showing that he “admires Hitler”?

2. Simple logic proves this:

• Donald Trump admires himself;
• Trump is literally Hitler; ergo,
• Trump admires Hitler. QED.

3. Winter says:

“Link to any direct quote from Trump showing that he “admires Hitler”?”

Direct quotes are not necessary to conclude admiration. This is not a criminal court, and even there it is allow to use other evidence. But you might be right. Trump only really admires himself.

But The Donald has had Hitler’s speeches at his bed side.

Marie Brenner, the article’s author, wrote: “Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, ‘My New Order’, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.

And the quotes of The Donald echo those of Hitler quite closely, implicating that he actually did read them:
Trump Echoed Hitler in His Speech Withdrawing From the Paris Climate Accord
Seriously—it’s not a direct quote from the Führer, but it’s perilously close.
https://www.thenation.com/article/trump-echoed-hitler-speech-withdrawing-paris-climate-accord/

In all, I conclude that The Donald admired Hitler.

4. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Direct quotes are not necessary to conclude admiration.

Also, you can smell witches. No evidence needed.

3. clark e myers says:

I can look to sources from Roman times onward for building water utilities and sewers. I can’t look to any source for how civilize anybody – as noted Trotsky assured the world he had the secret but that secret doesn’t seem to have worked.

Assuming arguendo that there are whole countries where the police force is polite and does not kill people I still do not know of a way to get anybody from here to there. All the more on a national level. The local police where I live – and almost everybody is armed, certainly everybody has immediate access to a firearm – is civilized. I once reviewed a case file for the defense and asked the arresting officer why he hadn’t shot the defendant. I was assured that if the officer had wanted to kill people he could have upped his headcount by half a dozen all righteous on paper and meeting reasonable man standards but not in the end really necessary.

Chicago where guns were completely banned for many years and only recently permitted subject to draconian regulation the police are uncivilized – I was threatened with immediate jail for a myriad of driving offenses and so solicited for a bribe after my parked car with out of state plates was struck – as are the citizens of many but not all Chicago neighborhoods.

There are useful studies on how Memphis Tenn. decivilized. I don’t know of anyplace civilization was ever imposed – Underneath the starry flag, civilize ’em with a Krag, And return us to our own beloved homes. – to the contrary.

In any event the trend today worldwide is toward lower published crime rates – I don’t know whether it’s an artifact of changing standards and publication or a real change/ total crime per 1000 but not major crimes is higher in the Netherlands than in the United States – yet there seems to be ample decivilizing. I count on such things as “Article 3 – Right to integrity of the person
… Netherlands / District Court The Hague / 10/41119, 10/42525, 10/42526 … example, one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15; one in five women has experienced …” to lead to a rise in individual responsibility as the police however civilized don’t seem to be protecting everybody all the time.

1. Winter says:

“Assuming arguendo that there are whole countries where the police force is polite and does not kill people I still do not know of a way to get anybody from here to there. ”

Sorry, but how to attack corruption, bad training, and mismanagement in civil services has been studied for ages, see below. What is missing in the US is public will to attack corruption and mismanagement in their own ranks.

See, e.g.,
A Theory of Corruption
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1961.tb01093.x

Cleaning up and invigorating the civil service

1. Sorry, but how to attack corruption, bad training, and mismanagement in civil services has been studied for ages, see below. What is missing in the EU is public will to attack corruption and mismanagement in their own ranks.

Fixed it for you.

3. D'Narius says:

What planet are you from?

1. Winter says:

I am from earth. And you?

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

70% of your country’s Jews were killed in WWII, compared to only 40% in Belgium, and only 25% in France.

That was done with the active collaboration of your oh, so polite, and oh, so non-violent police.

1. Winter says:

They actually learned from that experience. As in all of Europe, “it is the law” is not an excuse anymore.
Our police does not shoot people like in the USA, nor are they used to extort money from minorities.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> They actually learned from that experience.

No, you didn’t. You’re still the same boot-licking state worshipers you always were.

2. Winter says:

“No, you didn’t. You’re still the same boot-licking state worshipers you always were.”

But our Police Force is polite and does not shoot that many unarmed people. They also do not extort money from minorities.

3. Doctor Locketopus says:

> But our Police Force is polite and does not shoot that many unarmed people.

Of course they don’t. It’s much more efficient to just load them on the train.

4. >Of course they don’t. It’s much more efficient to just load them on the train.

Now, be fair. His version of socialism isn’t putting people on death trains. Not yet, anyway. And the Netherlands might disintegrate, a la Venezuela, before it gets to that stage. I don’t think just anyone can do socialism as well as Germans – takes talent for that. And heritage.

2. 30+?!?

The Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906.
There’s been a war on drugs going on for 112 years.

1. Winter says:

The “War on Drugs” as started by Nixon. Even the quote is from him.

3. William O. B'Livion says:

> The way to do this is much easier, take a lesson from the drug trade:

BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

You a funny guy.

It’s easier for a 13 year old to buy heroin in most US cities than a firearm.

What you’re missing is that *most* people in the US are in favor of “reasonable” gun laws, we are NOT in favor of Euroweenie style gun control. We don’t want–and don’t trust–our government to regulate that sort of s*t.

So, point by point:

> 1) Forbid the sale and trade of unlicensed fire arms and ammunition, enforce
> that rule. Allow only guns that are fit for what they are licensed for,
> hunting, personal self defense, etc.

Fairly typical response from someone who knows very little about guns from a tiny little country. Especially one where there is considerable social trust of the government.

We *don’t* license guns in most of the US. Even in places they do the tendency is to only license pistols.

So first you have to get *national* licensing.

NOT going to happen, doesn’t pass constitutional muster. The best you can do is to get “military style rifles” registered under the notion that the militia is “All able bodied men, 17 to 45 of age…” and “we” need to know who we can call up at a moment’s notice that have “compatible” firearms. That would be crap, but it would probably pass “intermediate” scrutiny which seems to be the (reduced) standard for firearms laws.

But registering hunting and target firearms at the *federal* level? Not going to happen.

Now, remember–somewhere north of 79 **million** gun owners, which I suspect is low. And there’s probably close to 300 million guns–which is also probably low.

Canada implemented a gun registration. Maximum compliance rate is about 50%. Australia implemented a gun registration/confiscation like you suggest. The east coast of AU was sold out of certain sizes of PVC pipe for *months*. Compliance rates were…really low.

Cleveland and Boston have mandatory handgun registration and compliance rates are around *1 %*.

Oh, and the SCOTUS has rules that “prohibited persons” can’t be required to register their firearms because that would be a form of self-incrimination.

> 2) Start a generous buy back program for arms and ammunition

“buy back” How does the government buy “back” what they never sold? The socialist mindset is ever present.

These are almost always failures in getting dangerous firearms off the street. They mostly get older, broken and crap guns off the street, or are used by the criminals to dispose of firearms used in crimes. After all, no questions asked.

> 3) Put heavy fines and even jail time on the possession of an unlicensed fire arm or ammunition

First you have to get licensing schemes in place. See your first comment.

Also we already have serious laws in place about prohibited persons (who commit most of the violent crime in our country) from owning firearms, and those laws are *rarely* enforced.

> 4) Clamp down heavily on ammunition and stuff needed to make ammunition yourself

This even more evidence that you and your ilk are more bothered by *guns* than *violence*. See, if I’m a criminal I only need a *gun* to threaten you with. And I need minimal ammunition if any. So this only impacts legitimate sportsmen.

As we’ve said all along “it’s not about the guns, it’s about the control”.

> 5) Put a bounty on guns and ammunition combined with random traffic checks,

Bounty for *whom*? Scratch a socialist find a Stasi admirer.

1. Winter says:

You did neither understand the original post it seems as my response to it.

1. Sigivald says:

Explain your post, then, because nobody but you seems to see any different meaning in it?

1. Winter says:

Quite simple.

Our honored host calculates the costs of a purely hypothetical nationwide confiscation at gun point of fire arms. I merely explain that there are well established policy options that are more effective and very “cheap”. But the whole exercise is purely hypothetical in both cases.

This whole “they will raid us for our guns” is a horror story for nurseries and Republicans.

And you all knew it. The very successful example of Australia has been discussed here often enough.

1. Jay Maynard says:

“Very successful example”.

Your definition of success is obviously one I have not encountered before.

Me, I don’t consider banning guns, buying them back, and getting a compliance rate of 20% to be a success.

Somehow, I doubt the Sarah Bradys of the world would, either.

1. Winter says:

“Me, I don’t consider banning guns, buying them back, and getting a compliance rate of 20% to be a success.”

The Australians seem to consider it a success. The buy back plan was part of a larger drive to prevent mass shooting US-style. They seem to have largely succeeded.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

The Australian politicians consider it a success, but then the Obama administration considered their ACA website a success.

Australia has 80% of the US’s land mass, and *15%* (tops) of the population.

Oops.

2. cshort says:

I know it’s been awhile since the post, but I wanted to point out that I don’t think this would fly either.

The best you can do is to get “military style rifles” registered under the notion that the militia is “All able bodied men, 17 to 45 of age…” and “we” need to know who we can call up at a moment’s notice that have “compatible” firearms. That would be crap, but it would probably pass “intermediate” scrutiny which seems to be the (reduced) standard for firearms laws.

We already have the selective service in the United States which fulfills the roll of knowing roughly who’s available for militia duty.

1. Anonymous says:

Most of the gun guys I know can’t tell you how many **thousand** rounds they’ve got sitting around their house.

1. Maximillian says:

“Most of the gun guys I know can’t tell you how many **thousand** rounds they’ve got sitting around their house.”

Heck, I can see 1500 rounds just from where I am sitting.

2. OK, that’s a good argument. My inner accountant says that controlling consumables is more likely to work unless they can be made at home and controlling fixed assets generally does not, but I was under the impression the typical stockpile means three boxes.

(BTW I’ve just read it in a Kratman novel that dogs sniffing out the explosives in the ammo can be trivially countered by making a dilution and spraying it all over the city.)

1. Ian Argent says:

I barely shoot, and I’ve got 1500 rounds of .22lr and over 500 rounds of 9mm in my safe. And that’s probably less 9mm than I “ought” to have, given my last range time I went through not quite 200 rounds of 9mm (in 10 round magazines, too, which meant more time spent refilling magazines).

Which also illustrates a problem with the “arsenal” midset, that a “large” amount of ammo on hand is unusual/rare. I am not even a casual shooter – I get to the range every year or two, and own 3 firearms (a pistol and two rifles). The bare minimum ammo I keep around the place is almost 2000 rounds, and I think that’s insufficient…

2. Landroll says:

I used to get routinely stopped at airports because their detectors hit on nitrates. I worked with cannons and after firing eould clean them wearing gloves I would carrry the gloves in my carry on work case. Welcome to the TSA proctological exam.

3. “I was under the impression the typical stockpile means three boxes.”

There’s some truth to that.

One box of rifle rounds. One box of pistol rounds. One box of shotgun rounds (or another type of rifle or pistol). .22 doesn’t count.

Oh, and… 1000 rounds per box. Because we buy in bulk.

(There’s also the charmingly colloquial three-boxes saying “Soap box, ballot box, and ammo box” for dealing with those who seek to impose their political priorities on an unwilling populace).

4. Painful Debugger says:

@Winter – I agree on bounty. I have to believe neighbors will rat out their gun owning friends.

1. Ian Argent says:

Less than you’d think. The Great Sort means most firearms owners’ neighbors are either firearms owners themselves or friendly to the notion.

2. My neighbors don’t know what I’ve got, how much, where, or whatever.

And remember, once you send the cops to get them, after the target shoots the first one, all the rest are free.

And you (or the blog-host) are also assuming that when they show up, there won’t be a neighborhood-wide crossfire.

So TPTB will have to take on entire neighborhoods.
We tried pacifying villages from the air with napalm circa 1965.

It didn’t work then, either, and most of the people they’d be “pacifying” have already played insurgency games, and know all the tricks of the trade far better than Officer Friendly ever will, before he’s cold and dead.

This ends the week it starts, and we can chalk up another 50M dead in the aftermath, as a slam-dunk certainty, with an equal number exiled/deported/refugees. Hope they can get along penniless in Mexico and Canada, because everywhere else is too far to swim.

And those 50M won’t be the gun owners.

1. >And you (or the blog-host) are also assuming that when they show up, there won’t be a neighborhood-wide crossfire.

Depends on the neighborhood. In mine, a placid wealthy exurb of a coastal city, I don’t think there’d be crossfire until word got out that the confiscation teams had shot women and children. So, not the first week or two.

In the Midwest and South, crossfire ambushes would start faster. In parts of the Mountain West, from day one.

1. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

The Weaver massacre ‘worked’ because a coverup at the time it was happening, and a coverup after it happened, were both feasible.

These days – neither is possible short of complete comms shutdowns. Which are feasible but unlikely, and also shuts down TPTB’s comms. Once the first women and children are FEEB’d (a verb meaning FBI-slaughtered like the Weavers were…) the second- and third-order consequences will be swift, large-scale, and severe.

But hey, the sunny gun-control optimisticrats assure us we are mistaken. Well, suck it and see.

5. l2a3 says:

Remember as they use to say in the 1960, “Better living through chemistry!” You do not need firearms or ammunition. If it goes to that, it just got a whole bunch worst!” You think it out and see. Again I pray it doesn’t come to this.

1. Landroll says:

On gun grabber sites, I like to mention that the largest mass killing in NYC before 911 was done with a plastic gallon jug of gasoline, and a book of paper matches. It isn’t the gun or tool, it’s the crazy person. If I think the state orTPTB have lost their mind or validity, I can become a crazy man defending my rights as I see them.

6. Andrew Phillips says:

“The more you tighten you grip, the more [citizens] slip through your fingers”.

At best, your plan doesn’t work. At worse, it’s actively counter-productive. We’ve been digging our heels in for the last twenty years. We’re winning the kulturkampf. The other side can pass laws, but it can’t enforcement them.

“Forbid the sale and trade of unlicensed fire arms and ammunition, enforce that rule. Allow only guns that are fit for what they are licensed for, hunting, personal self defense, etc.”

How? No one knows how many guns we have, or who has them, and no one who takes the Second Amendment seriously will even consider gun registration. No registry, no licensing; no licensing, no enforcement.

If you do this, you harden our will to resist. We don’t take the ‘sporting purposes’ test seriously any more. Anyone who proposes to do so instantly disqualifies his own opinions on the matter.

Bad idea number two:
“2) Start a generous buy back program for arms and ammunition”

All we have to do to defeat this is set up a buyback tables of our own upstream of the official point and offer real cash money for those guns instead of nominal sums on Amazon gift cards.

Make it optional and only idiots will turn their guns. Make it mandatory and we’ll recognize it for what it is – confiscation. That is a good way to start a war, but not a good way to do anything else. We remember Gonzales, Lexington, and Concord.

“3) Put heavy fines and even jail time on the possession of an unlicensed fire arm or ammunition”

See point 1. You keep suggesting things that would justify massive noncompliance and outright resistance as though they could reliably thin our ranks over time.

“Clamp down heavily on ammunition and stuff needed to make ammunition yourself.”

Americans own somewhere north of 600 million firearms. Our collective stock of ammunition has got to be billions or trillions of rounds of ammunition. It’s not going to evaporate, you know.

“Put a bounty on guns and ammunition combined with random traffic checks”

See points 1 and 3. If a gun owner knows that a traffic stop could turn into a confiscation event that costs him his liberty or his life, why should he let that happen? Police who do that stop being police. Once the police know that trying to stop suspected gun owners in order to take their guns is a good way to end up dead in the street, why should they do that either?

Bogus conclusion:
“No 100% gun free society, but there will be a consistent decline of gun ownership over the years.”

You’ve severely underestimated how deeply ingrained the various gun cultures are in American society, the expansion of those cultures over the last few decades, and the general opposition to new gun control. There are more of us now than ever before in possession of more guns than ever before. More of us are carrying those guns in more places in a daily basis. Progressives are reduced to whining about the lack of action because nothing they consider a reasonable first step is remotely viable outside regions that are reliably Blue or recently traumatized.

7. Joe says:

A bogus conspiracy theory? Wake up liberal. Most Dictators, Socialist, Communist, and other forms of tyrannical governments begin by disarming the population. I have to ask you what is happening in the US at the moment? After all you propose the next step is a Government mop up to get the last of weapons. Ie. London’s ban on knives after banning all fire arms, or require they be stored in specific places, “gun clubs” for rapid confiscation. Brother the time is nigh to begin thinking about the possibilities.

8. ron west says:

That will work for firearms as well as it has for drugs.

9. OldCurmudgeon says:

That was going to be my comment, except referencing the mostly-successful tobacco jihad, rather than the War on Drugs.

We should assume that would-be tyrants will take the long view.

1. Ian Argent says:

And yet, I can still buy tobacco easier than I can ammo.

1. OldCurmudgeon says:

IDK. You need to show ID to buy tobacco (I didn’t last time I bought ammo)

A 20 yr plan:
1) double/triple hunting tags (to turn hunting into a rich-mens’ sport);
2) ammo tax (to turn shooting into a rich-mens’ sport);
3) de-zone ranges near any populated area (PIA to shoot);
4) teach kids that guns are the worse thing ever / encourage geographic mobility (attacks the social aspect of hunting);
5) increase price of new guns by requiring safety features;
6) very generous gun buyout for older guns: 2x fmv (to dry up the used marketplace);
7) increase the safety buffer around roads, trails, houses (hard to find a place you can hunt).
After all that, I’m not sure Eric’s math would come out the same.

1. >After all that, I’m not sure Eric’s math would come out the same.

On the other hand, the grabbers keep trying these things and failing.

Take “de-zone ranges near any populated area (PIA to shoot);” for example. Our judicial system has already noticed that this is a shuck-and-jive; IIRC such a law was struck down in Illinois a few years back.

2. Ian Argent says:

I cheated – I live in NJ, where I do have to show a specific ID to buy ammo, and it’s much harder to get that ID than it is to get a driver’s license.

“When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril”
1996 New Jersey Superior Court decision State vs. Pelleteri

That was from a decision that upheld the conviction of a man for owning a .22lr rifle with a fixed magazine capable of holding 17 rounds of ammo, that he had never shot, never even taken the tags off of. The state of the law in NJ is that firearms possession is illegal outside of certain tightly-regulated circumstances. And yet, we own firearms in NJ.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Now you know why I will never voluntarily reside in NJ.

1. Ian Argent says:

I don’t blame you.

The stupid thing about NJ is that with a few minor tweaks to the laws and a more supportive court, they’d be at least as good as PA, in some cases better.

Which of course is one reason that gun owners are justifiably wary of “reasonable sounding” laws. The NJ laws sound reasonable, but are a thicket that has ensnared many a firearm owner or potential firearm owner.

1. OldCurmudgeon says:

>but are a thicket that has ensnared many a firearm owner or potential firearm owner.

I guess my point/warning is they don’t even need to go that far. Hunting/fishing is frequently boring, often physically miserable, and generally an expensive way to get food. If it weren’t for the social aspects, I’m not sure how many of my circle would still do it.

Imho, if they can cut the legs out on the social aspects, I think the whole tradition dies. And they can do that without ‘banning’ anything.

1. Ian Argent says:

NYC and NJ stand as horrible examples to this.

4. They can slow boil the frog.

The infamous Australian gun confiscation did not confiscate guns from anyone too likely to object vehemently. Still lots of guns, just a lot harder to get a gun. The hard core guys are grandfathered in, but they are slowly growing older.

Similarly, why no flying cars?

Well, if you know anyone who owns a private plane and he himself flies that plane, who is the owner and pilot, flying it for his own purposes as if it was a car, he is probably pushing eighty, having been grandfathered in when he was about sixteen, and his plane was also grandfathered in, being an ancient model with every part having been replaced several times with individually hand crafted parts.

They can put an end to guns the way they put an end to flying cars. Or maybe they cannot, if we popularize the knowledge needed to gunsmith guns all the way from a chunk of iron. Easier to build a gun than a plane, and easier to learn to shoot a gun than learn to fly a plane.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Well, if you know anyone who owns a private plane and he himself flies that plane, who is the owner and pilot, flying it for his own purposes as if it was a car, he is probably pushing eighty

I know a fair number of them, and this seemed way wrong to me.

the average age of a recreational pilot is only 49. The average age of a commercial pilot is 46. That’s not a huge difference.

1. Sigivald says:

That and, AFAIK there’s not “grandfathered-in only” thing for owning an airplane.

You can just go buy one. They’re not cheap, but they’re certainly not something No Normal Person Could Ever Afford.

Major parts for popular older aircraft are often still in new production, so no need to hand-cobble jerry-rigs, either.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> You can just go buy one. They’re not cheap, but they’re certainly not something No Normal Person Could Ever Afford.

Sure. They’re in “successful small-town dentist” territory, not “tech billionaire” territory..

1. Jay Maynard says:

You can get a very serviceable airplane for well under \$30K. With parts commonly available, even.

Sorry, Jim, you’re full of prunes on this one. I had an airplane 10 years ago, when I was 48, that I used for travel whenever the opportunity presented itself. Yes, it was \$140K, but that’s because I insisted on buying new. No special dispensations, no grandfathering, built in 2008.

1. Adam Maas says:

And you can legally build one for \$15-20k.

There was a period where GA was on the ropes, through the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was a side effect of poorly written liability statutes. They fixed those in the 90’s and GA started booming again.

1. revjen45 says:

Building an airplane is not easy enough for a lot of people to do it. Building a gun is easier by a couple of levels of magnitude. The easiest gun to make (above zip gun level technology) is a submachine gun. If all guns are illegal you might as well go for the gusto. My degree is in Professional Gunsmithing so I know whereof I speak.

1. Ian Argent says:

That’s a different kettle of fish entirely.

You can buy 80% shotguns at Lowes; probably 80% sten guns too.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

There are numerous videos on YouTube of people making single-shot slam-fire shotguns out of black iron pipe.

Would I risk firing such a thing under normal circumstances? Hell no! — but in extremity, things would likely be different.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:
2. beedogs says:

to be fair, you couldn’t afford that plane and the bank took it away from you.

1. Jay Maynard says:

I could afford it just fine until Barack Obama’s historically anemic recovery destroyed my earning power.

Oh, and go away, stalker.

5. Answer honestly. Suppose DC v. Heller had held that there was no individual right to own a firearm and at some point in Obama’s term he’d gotten a law enacted making it illegal to posses anything but the most basic bolt action hunting weapons without unusual authorization (but compensating the owners to avoid 5th amendment issues…indeed maybe it passes because it offers gun owners a cash windfall).

The FBI has read your blog and worries your won’t turn your guns over voluntarily so sends 5 baby faced agents just out of quantico to your house with a court order allowing them to search the property for the guns they know you have. Do you use lethal force against these perfectly nice, innocent FBI agents whose only crime is believing the supreme court’s interpretation of the 2nd amendment should be respected? If not then you (and if not you I doubt 1 in 317) are really serious about such pushback.

If you suggest this isn’t fair because no fairly democratically elected body would do such a thing then just imagine that some cult leader puts together gun toting fighting force and does something truly horrific (takes over the US capital, shoots a ton of congressmen but most democrats are off at some party meeting … now we’ve got a lopsided congress *and* deeply traumatized congressmen). Note, of course, a true tyrant might be able to instigate such a situation as a false flag maneuver.

Ohh, and a really smart government would send agents who come from your town or are people you know. Or they offer states money to send local police. They never fire first and they treat it like any other raid. Do you fire?

This strategy became implausible once we reached the point where even the really pro-gun municipalities almost surely have a decent number of residents who would be willing to enforce an order to come collect guns.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Do you use lethal force against these perfectly nice, innocent…

I wouldn’t view people who were confiscating guns as “perfectly nice” or “innocent” I would view them as willing enablers of a forthcoming mass murder.

2. William O. B'Livion says:

> Do you use lethal force against these perfectly nice, innocent FBI agents
> whose only crime is believing the supreme court’s interpretation of the
> 2nd amendment should be respected?

Send bachelors with no children.

1. Another David says:

If you want your confiscation program to gain popular support, send photogenic 20-something mothers with a 2-3 year old child.

Every act of resistance buys years of anti-gun propaganda. The tearful father holding his confused child next to the casket (bonus points for a rainy day funeral); “studies” about the psychological issues faced by the growing cohort of children who lost a mother to the “gun hoarders”; interviews with young teens who grew up without their mother; reports on the rate of criminal activity among the affected teens/young adults; etc.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Every act of resistance buys years of anti-gun propaganda.

They’re not going to have years.

Days at most.

2. Tell the sheriff that posse had best be well-mounted, and leave the married men at home.

1. >“Tell the sheriff that posse had best be well-mounted, and leave the married men at home.“

I’d like to know the source of this. Google doesn’t give good hits.

3. Dan says:

They’re coming to my home, armed, threatening me with death if I do not submit.

They are not innocent at all. I will not wait to be fired upon. Neither will they. Their actions are an implicit declaration of war against free American citizens.

1. cdb says:

Isn’t that true of essentially any interaction with the police that takes place at your home? I’m curious how and where you’d draw the line for defending yourself from them by force, given that they are unlikely to announce to you their intent to confiscate weapons.

A likely scenario, to me, would be a group of officers knocking on your door and announcing that they have a warrant authorizing them to enter and search your property.

Given no other information, what do you do?

1. >A likely scenario, to me, would be a group of officers knocking on your door and announcing that they have a warrant authorizing them to enter and search your property.

Oh, this one’s easy. You ask to see the warrant. If they have one, signed by an actual judge and individualized to you, then you comply. If they’re false-flagging a confiscation raid performed under a new law, they won’t.

Which is not only reason enough to slam the door, you’d be legally in the right when you did so. LEOs don’t have a right to enter your home under false pretenses – they have to accurately cite the controlling legal authority.

But it’s not going to happen that way past the first few hundred or so attempts. Too many cops getting shot – they’ll have to go to plan B, which is SWAT teams and other professional-grade doorknockers.

6. I think the only question that really matters is this: will the government agents be willing to carry out those orders. Look at the downfall of tyranical regimes. It’s rarely because the public overcomes the collective action problem and simply decides to accept casualties and rush the government soldiers. No, it’s almost always because, like the east German troops when the wall fell, the government’s agents refuse to carry out their orders.

I mean government employees are a pretty decent sampling of Americans. They aren’t a statistically random sample but they are drawn from all communities and all parts of the country. If the government agents believe the gun confiscation program is legitimate enough to perform the raids and use force if necessary you’ve just done a poll showing the citizenry don’t see it as so illegitimate as to warrant lethal response. On the other hand if you are even close to the point where 1 in 317 is willing to use lethal force to protect their weapons the government agents will be so horrified at the tyrannical power grab that they will be refusing to follow orders en mass. Our society is still too closely nit and humans are too vulnerable to peer pressure to let it reach the point of widespread lethal exchanges.

To get 1 person in 317 to fire on the government agents you need 10 people per 317 to swear they will fire, 30 to insists firing is the right thing to do and another 60 or so to be willing to engage in massive civil disobedience even if they don’t support violent resistance. If you don’t have this much broader support your only hope is to somehow collect all the likeminded folks and all move to the same place to establish your own society long before they come to take your guns. If you won’t give up things like better paying jobs in other states or living near family now to do that you won’t have the reassurance of a society telling you fighting back is the right thing to do so people won’t. It takes a lot of work to convince humans to take the first shot (and often responding shots) if they’ve never fought before. Armies drill to ensure it’s automatic, primitive tribes have extensive rituals and shamans to pump up warriors
.

1. Propaganda works. Parallels with ex-Soviet countries are not accurate, because they had the West as an obvious example of a far nicer place that showed the lie of the propaganda, but the West does not have its own West, there is no other place (or no large place) conservative Americans can point to and say we should be doing things like they do. Perhaps they can point ot the past. This is what Moldbug meant when he said “the past is a first world country” that there are no or few current examples in the world any country doing things better than America or England does from a conservative or libertarian viewpoint, all you have for such comparisons is history. And that is harder. For most people pointing “things are nicer over the border” is far more powerful than saying “things were nicer in great-grandpa’s time”.

I have personal experience about this: when my teachers talked about the glorious communist road into utopia, I thought of a Transformers toy on my shelf, which was far more sophisticated than any toy manufactured east of the iron curtain.

And the point I am trying to make that it is a good thing for the West that there are no better alternatives, sort of a best of all currently possible worlds, but it is also a bad thing because it makes people loyal to the government and susceptible to its propaganda.

So when you live in a country where nobody is trying to cross minefields and climb over barbed wire to get into an obviously much better country, there is noth much to block or counter-balance propaganda. You are the No. 1 so why not love and believe the people in charge? In such a case, it is not difficult to portray gun owners as reactionary fascists who are plotting to overthrow the democratic political system, and thus brainwash government employees (and almost everybody else) going along with it.

7. And what’s with the absurd suggestion that the military will be out of the picture. If congress is willing to pass a gun confiscation bill they could just repeal Posse Comitatus (sp?) and even if they don’t there are any number of major exceptions to it involving disasters.

And even without the military remember the come at you one by one so your choice isn’t to take your chances of dieing in a war or not. It’s whether or not you are willing to accept certain death to thin out the police ranks a bit in the hopes that your comrades in the states that haven’t yet been visited will be able to keep their guns. Government misinformation can ensure that the news reports *initially* indicate that only extremely isolated incidents of violence have occurred and ensure that trolls online are too numerous to allow accurate statistics. So when the agents come to your house you have to be willing to give up your own life, end the life of some nice family men on the local police force and potentially put neighbors at risk for what the news is making look like a lost cause.

So do you risk being that crazed gunman and giving up your life on the *chance* that the news is getting it wrong and your fellow gun owners have been giving their lives to thin the heard? If you even feel a tingle of doubt now you won’t do it with your family members and loved ones begging you not to sacrifice yourself knowing that your fellow gun owners are being swayed by the same doubts. The police will tell your family they don’t want to kill you but they might have to unless they help so what do you do when it’s your own wife or mother or sibling who approaches only to whip out a taser at the last minute so they can save your life?

Of course you won’t go out in a blaze of glory. You’ll tell yourself it’s better to stash some weapons and claim they were stolen then train with other gun owners to strike back. You never will and at some point the risk of a 25 year prison term for the gun you’ve buried in the backyard will weigh too heavily and you’ll take advantage of the amnesty program.

1. >And even without the military remember the come at you one by one

You’re not thinking.

I live on a residential drive with about 20 houses. If the confiscation raids come, the first place they’re going to target is the drug-rehab halfway house down one end. Scenario: an SUV with police or military markings rolls up and eight armed men spill out.

Now think like a military planner. What are the odds that one guy on my street – not in the target house, and maybe me – will try something at least as likely to be a mission kill as shooting out the SUV’s tires? You may think it’s low, but it’s enough above zero that you have to plan against it it in the force structure and doctrine of your teams. Congratulations, your mission logistics just got way more complicated and your total sweep time goes way up.

I live in a quiet exurb. Less than 15 miles from me there are rural areas full of hard-shell conservatives who are not going to stop at shooting out tires (and I’m not guaranteeing that I would, either). The point of maximum danger is when your raid team comes out of the house – especially if it’s the second or later house on that street you’ve tossed.

And especially after he first gun owners have been shot in their own homes during the raids. Women. children, and pets are going to die because some raider got twitchy. Word of this will get out. Every neighborhood will have to assume that that SUV is carrying a significant likelihood of massacre against innocent targets.

Now imagine it’s week three of the sweep. All over the U.S. gun owners who now believe they have nothing to lose by it are modifying AR-15s for select fire and full auto. (It’s an easy hack.) AK-47s are coming out of basements. Remember, it only takes less than one in 317 of us to win force-on-force.

Many of us are military veterans who swore an oath to defend the Constitution against “enemies foreign and domestic” The vets know small-unit tactics. You think they’re going to wait to be raided seriatim in their own homes?

They come at us one by one? Oh, no, no. They’re outgunned and surrounded.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

> by it are modifying AR-15s for select fire and full auto. (It’s an easy hack.)
> AK-47s are coming out of basements.

Why? There’s no point in “full auto” for these sorts of confrontations.

1. >Why? There’s no point in “full auto” for these sorts of confrontations.

Technically, tactically, you’re right. I myself would certainly prefer 3-shot bursts for this kind of engagement

But you are (pardonably) missing two aspects of the surround. One is that in general full-auto conversions are easier to do than select-fire conversions. (Er, if that happens not to be true on an AR-15/AR-10 action someone please correct me.)

The other point is psychological. Full-auto is scary as fuck, especially if you’re a lightly-armed civilian LEO without the doctrine to deal with it.

Therefore, full-auto conversions have an effect on battlefield dynamics beyond what their utility would predict. Remember, “Defeat is an event that takes place in the mind of the enemy commander.”

1. R Daneel says:

And the ‘this won’t happen types’ forget the crossfire ambushes that would spring up.

>100 yards + 2 pickups + tarps + 4 shots each + drive away = success

1. > [greater than] 100 yards + 2 pickups + tarps + 4 shots each + drive away = success

Even if you couldn’t find 1 in 317 gun owners to shoot home invaders, you could damn sure find enough that’d do this thing. It’s just like hunting from a blind and can be done with a hunting rifle; much less risky, and there are somewhere north of 15 million Americans with the equipment and skill to do it.

Now let’s suppose only one in a thousand hunters gets pissed off enough by imminent gun confiscation to actually fire. That’s still 15,000 ambushers, outnumbering the doorknockers by about 2:1.

Large parts of the U.S. would become no-go zones for any vehicle suspected of carrying a confiscation squad and not fully proofed against rifle fire.

1. Dan says:

…and they need to leave such a fully proofed vehicle to do the job – and it’s a lot harder to be *personally* fully proofed against serious-caliber rifle fire.

I wonder how rapidly the “fuck that for a game of soldiers” contingent among enforcement would rise?

1. Adam Maas says:

Note that ‘Fully proofed against rifle fire’ in most of the US means a Stryker or heavier, not an up-armored Humvee or similar (which is typically armored against 7.62 or lower calibres)

Lots of .50 BMG out there, Barrett and their competitors are well liked by a lot of folks.

1. TRX says:

The 1-1/4″ thick plastic armored windows will shrug off .308, but 12 gauge slugs or the .45-70 are scarcely inconvenienced.

Sometimes old technology is surprisingly effective…

2. Dan says:

Well, I honestly wouldn’t say that such conversions are *easy* – they do need to be done very carefully, and timing adjustments have to be pretty F’ing precise or you end up with a bricked AR.

But the knowledge is out there, and a good machinist could do the work.

(If anyone is thinking about trying it with hand tools, I’m preemptively laughing my ass off)

PS. Things like ‘lightning links’ could be made pretty easily, but there’s no way I’d trust my life to one.

PPS. Like you, I’d much rather opt for 3-shot burst than full auto. Even then, semi-auto fire would be where my selector would mostly remain.

1. kjj says:

I’m sorry, but this is wrong. There is pretty much no way to brick the lower attempting the conversion, unless you are using a cutting torch to “drill” the hole or something equally silly. If you are off by a little, or don’t drill it straight, the worst case is that you are unable to install the autosear axis and you are stuck with the same semi-auto you had before, but now with speed holes!

To do the conversion, you drill a hole in the right spot and slip in the parts. You can buy jigs that precisely locate the hole today (legally!), or you can take a look at the original M16 blueprint available online and figure it out. Full auto milspec parts kits are also readily available today. Having the jig makes it super-easy, having a proper mill makes it just easy, having a drill press means you need to be careful, and having to use a hand drill just means you need to be very careful.

Note – my understanding of the law is that it is perfectly legal to own the parts, and the jig, and the blueprint, but do not do so much as make a pencil mark in the appropriate place unless you enjoy prison so much that you are eager to spend 10 years there.

This assumes your AR is built with milspec/surplus parts, and they probably should be because those are the cheapest and toughest parts available. You may need a different BCG if you have an old neutered one, and you may need to mill a pocket in your lower if it doesn’t have room for the autosear. Just to be safe, I wouldn’t mill the pocket until doomsday, but I don’t think it is illegal to do so, and it certainly isn’t illegal to own one that came that way from the factory.

Lightning link plans are readily available online. It is two small pieces of flat metal that you could make with a Dremel in 10 minutes. I also wouldn’t ever put one in a gun unless I was really, really desperate. And full auto lower parts kits are so easy to get today, why bother with a ghetto mod?

FAL conversion is pretty easy, but it is easy to mess it up in a way that makes it annoying to assemble the rifle – make what they call “the sear cut” too deep and you’ll regret it every time you replace the hinge pin after a thorough cleaning.

I forget what goes into an AK conversion, but I don’t recall it being particularly difficult.

I feel like I should repeat that this is serious felony stuff, so you shouldn’t actually attempt to do any of the actual work until after doomsday, but I do recommend stocking at least one parts kit, one CQB-dressed M4 and maybe the jig, just in case. No idea how many people already have these kits in their prep. Tens of thousands? Millions? No way to know.

1. Dan says:

“Note – my understanding of the law is that it is perfectly legal to own the parts”

Owning full-auto fire control parts is illegal unless they are provably pre-86.

The ‘parts’ themselves are classified as the machine gun.

Yes, the law sucks…but that’s the black letter of it.

You also seriously underestimate how challenging a proper full-auto conversion is. It *isn’t* merely “use jig, drill here, insert parts, bada bing bada boom”…not even close.

But by all means, have at it ;)

1. kjj says:

After reading some more, I’m starting to come around to the idea that owning the parts and the rifle at the same time is a bad idea as it would be very difficult to know if the ATF can torture some combination of them into firing more than once per trigger action.

Check out https://imgur.com/a/vt2Qz and also page 156 of P-5300-4 : https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/atf-p-5300-4pdf

Still, I see these parts sell, and that makes me wonder how many are lurking out there in SHTF preps around the country.

2. Jeremy says:

As Dan notes, even having the auto sear is Very Illegal. I propose something different. If you absolutely *must* have a select-fire rifle for the 2nd American Civil War, then put all you money into the upper receiver of an AR-style rifle Give it the match grade barrel, those really nice sights and optics, etc, and then wait until after some door-kickers have been shot. There’s good odds that door-kickers will have select fire rifles built on the AR platform, and a dead door kicker isn’t going to protest terribly if you take his rifle. Put your nice upper on the select-fire-capable lower, and now you have a nice select-fire rifle.

3. William O. Blivion says:

Don’t forget I’ve trained on these sorts of confrontations (from the stack side, and not a LOT, but more than most people).

Yeah, 3 round burst would be a little better than single shot–with a .223.

With ANYTHING else you’d be better off NOT modifying your rifile and just work the trigger as fast as you see faces.

Faces? Yeah, body armor.

They won’t be playing. They will (try to) kick your door in and storm the house. The idea in this case is that the faster they get in and “control” the situation (and they WILL shoot your dog) the safer they are.

Well, that will be the MO for day 1.

Day 2 not much will happen. Day 3 – 7 there will be a BIG outbreak of flu in police departments.

By day 8 most of the politicians that would order this sort of thing will either be in the hospital, dead, or running away from the idea as fast as they can.

1. TRX says:

Immediately after the first raid, the victims will be in contact with everyone they know, from down the street to other countries, letting them know what’s happening.

About an hour into the first day’s raiding, things are going to start getting sticky…

4. Greg says:

Um, no.

Shooting up an SUV full of g-men at close range is pretty close to the ideal use case for full auto.

And why are we assuming ‘full auto’=’mag dumps in the general compass heading of the target, inshallah school of marksmanship style’.

1. >Shooting up an SUV full of g-men at close range is pretty close to the ideal use case for full auto.

You’re not wrong. But the strongest single influence on my tactical style was a former SpecOps guy. Their doctrine strongly discourages using more ammo than you absolutely have to to service an individual target, because the tango you just dropped might have backup that hasn’t engaged yet.

>And why are we assuming ‘full auto’=’mag dumps in the general compass heading of the target, inshallah school of marksmanship style’.

It’s not quite that bad. Americans (even relatively untrained Americans) are much better, more careful shots than J. Random Jihadi for deep cultural reasons – our instinct is towards aimed fire rather than spraying and praying, thus we try to do the right thing even when we’re not very good at it yet. But when you only have the mag capacity of small arms, dumping that mag is something that can easily happen in a moment of distraction.

1. Deep Lurker says:

> Americans (even relatively untrained Americans) are much better, more careful shots than J. Random Jihadi for deep cultural reasons – our instinct is towards aimed fire rather than spraying and praying, thus we try to do the right thing even when we’re not very good at it yet.

I find this very plausible, so I’m going to make a point of asking what your evidence for this is.

1. >I find this very plausible, so I’m going to make a point of asking what your evidence for this is.

Military studies, some of which have leaked out into the popular press and semi-popular think pieces. Here’s a good one.

If these are tl;dr, you find somebody observant who has fought in the sandbox. They’ll all tell you the same things. Fatalism – “The bullets will go where Allah guides them” – doesn’t just make troops that are shitty shots even when trying, it leads to crazy behavior like closing the eyes while shooting or standing in a trench, elevating your AK-47 above your head, and waving it around randomly while you pull the trigger.

You only get natively halfway decent shooters in that part of the world from mountain-ass-kicker cultures that are only partly islamized, like Kurds and Afghanis and tribesmen from the Hindu Kush. The rest – well, they can be trained up to a non-sucky level (some Brits did it with the Arab Legion in Jordan) but it takes years of sweat under European teachers. Very patient European teachers.

Americans are not fatalists. We believe skill matters and we’re willing to work to acquire it. That mindset paves the way for us to become good shots. Even when we don’t know what we’re doing, our mental models are derived from folklore about people who were good shots and we have half-conscious incomplete knowledge about their behaviors and mindset. Including, you know, aiming. This turns out to matter a lot.

Such cultural capital is easy not to notice if you swim in it, but it’s not globally common. The world’s best snipers have almost all been Americans, Canadians, Brits, Finns, Germans, and European Russians. From there it’s a long way down to the second tier.

1. Deep Lurker says:

Actually I had run across the piece you linked to some time back, and I have heard lots of anecdotes about “Arabs are bad shots who spray and pray for cultural reasons.”

What I was found comfortingly plausible and so wanted citations & evidence for is the part about how we Americans “try to do the right thing even when we’re not very good at it yet.”

1. Oh, well, as to that…I teach basic firearms. Have you ever seen or heard of an American student not trying to aim? I mean, outside of a comedy sketch?

Even our duffers try to aim. They may suck at it, but they know that you’re supposed to to something involving looking down the barrel at the target.

You may find it difficult to imagine people not doing this, but that’s part of my point. You were formed by a cultural surround in which aiming, and getting better at aiming, is natural.

That’s not universal.

2. clark e myers says:

“…waving it around randomly while you pull the trigger…” Surely it’s more haphazard than random?

See also Tom Kratman though I think he suggests we tend to attribute good habits to Kurds and bad habits to Iraqi for reasons more emotional than grounded in observation.

See also Jim Cerillo and the stake out team. Members with a hunting background are reported to strike a better balance. Non-hunters are said to be either too eager or too reluctant to shoot people.

1. >he suggests we tend to attribute good habits to Kurds and bad habits to Iraqi for reasons more emotional than grounded in observation.

Fact: There is one Kurd on Wikipedia’s list of notable snipers by recorded kills. But no Arabs.

2. William O. B'Livion says:

A friend of mine had a couple contracts in the 2004/2005 timeframe to assist in training Iraqi police officers (IIRC. Could have been Iraqi national guard. Long time ago, not my contract).

He said that they were VERY averse to putting the rifle to their shoulder and wanted to keep the thing that went bang as far from their face as possible.

Once that was resolved they had a hard time being willing to use their sights. The “Inshallah school of marksmanship” that Greg mentions actually IS a thing. If Allah wants you to hit, you it. If he does not, you won’t.

And finally once that was overcome they were VERY hesitant to fire center-mass. They wanted to shoot the legs and extremities, being hesitant to kill (other muslims) because of blood feuds and such. See “amoral familism”.

1. Deep Lurker says:

I keep getting the impression that Arabs are outliers, but how extreme of an outlier are they? Are there similar (if not quite so extreme) problems with teaching, e.g., Koreans or Vietnamese to shoot?

2. William O. B'Livion says:

> Shooting up an SUV full of g-men at close range
> is pretty close to the ideal use case for full auto.

Depends on what you’re making full auto. Something like an MP5 or Grease Gun? Yeah.

Something .223? or an AK? not necessary.

.223 bounces around a LOT under full auto. It’s not hard to manage if you’re able to get a good stance and lean in a bit (from what I remember, it’s been YEARS) but if you’re shooting and moving it’s not ideal.

Again, door kicking with 3 round burst makes sense.

>And why are we assuming ‘full auto’=’mag
> dumps in the general compass heading of
> the target, inshallah school of
> marksmanship style’.

Notice that the one scenario YOU present, that’s what you’d be doing.

Secondly, trigger control under full auto is something that has to be practiced, and has to be practice UNDER STRESS. Most of us don’t get in gunfights at all, much less often enough to be inoculated to the stress of having to get in a gunfight with the US government.

Also you’re going to be fighting in YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. You’re going to own or be liable for everything you hit with your bullets.

1. >Secondly, trigger control under full auto is something that has to be practiced, and has to be practice UNDER STRESS.

There’s a more general point here. You have to know what the limits of your training are and choose tactics that don’t exceed them.

To illustrate: I’d know exactly what to do in a pistol, blade, or hand-to-hand fight, but I’m not very good with rifles and I’ve fired full auto on only three days in my life. While I am pretty well stress-inoculated with the weapons I know (at least compared to anyone who hasn’t been through at least a touch of SpecOps training) it isn’t clear that translates to weapons I don’t.

So, me go full auto against that SUV? Fsck no, not unless I can do it from a pretty hard prepared position so I have time to figure out what the hell I’m doing. I’d be much more effective point-shooting three-shot bursts with a carbine/PDW, or even a pistol with a slug heavy enough to penetrate a car door.

To be honest, you don’t really want me in a field action like this at all, my mobility is too limited. I’d be best for fixed defense or close-quarters infighting. I’m good at infighting. I’m not the guy to take out that SUV, I’m the guy with decent odds to take out a confiscator in a hallway with hands or knife while he’s trying to draw down on me and too cramped to really move.

2. Bram says:

I agree – the real danger to the door-kickers isn’t from inside the houses. Suburbs with woods… Easy 100 – 200 yard shots with hunting or accurate semi-autos. An entire team is down, some dead, and they never even see the shooters. Rinse, repeat, and a couple days later the surviving cops are all calling in sick.

3. revjen45 says:

I would seriously question the desirability of full auto when ammo is scarce. Dumping the mag in 2 or 3 trigger pulls would leave you short of ammo pretty quick. Accurate semi-auto would conserve what you have and take down more of the enemy per round fired..

1. >I would seriously question the desirability of full auto when ammo is scarce. Dumping the mag in 2 or 3 trigger pulls would leave you short of ammo pretty quick. Accurate semi-auto would conserve what you have and take down more of the enemy per round fired..

Hey, don’t argue with me! I’m not the one advocating full auto against an SUV. :-)

I too prefer select fire. That said, the intimidation factor of knowing you’re facing people who can go full auto is not to be underestimated,

2. Doctor Locketopus says:

> And what’s with the absurd suggestion that the military will be out of the picture.

For one thing they took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and most of them actually take it seriously.

In terms of realpolitik, some quick web searches indicate that the military vote was approximately 55% Trump/26% Clinton, 66% Romney/26% Obama.

I expect that the law enforcement vote was pretty close to the same, and strongly suspect that the disparity would even more striking if you limited it to troops in combat specialties.

I would also expect that if the last election were held again today, the military vote for Trump over Clinton would be much, much higher.

1. >I would also expect that if the last election were held again today, the military vote for Trump over Clinton would be much, much higher.

Serving military personnel who accidentally created the the kind of security exposure that Clinton did deliberately with her insecure-server malfeasance have been jailed for it. That has to burn.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

For sure. The current and former service members I know also strongly approve of Trump’s appointment of Mattis as SecDef, and many are cautiously optimistic that he may actually be doing something about the horrific VA medical system.

2. Ian Argent says:

I’m still somewhat of the opinion that Virginia was *way closer* to going to Trump than it ought to have been, considering the weight of Northern Virginia.

I think the scandal may have depressed the GS vote; not enough to matter, but enough to be noticed.

3. William O. Blivion says:

There are quite a few of us who lost any remaining respect we had for the Feebs over that.

From my .sigtext file:
%
“One cannot look at holding people accountable as a
solution to these problems,”
— Robert Mueller, Director, FBI.
%

2. >I would also expect that if the last election were held again today, the military vote for Trump over Clinton would be much, much higher (than 55%/%26).

Quite so. Which has an effect on the strategic picture. Because it suggests that an even larger percentage than 55% would regard orders to engage or assist in domestic weapons confiscations as illegal. That’s the kind of situation where you get passive mutiny – units refusing to leave the barracks on order.

Now the stakes, from the confiscators’ point of view, get a lot higher. You don’t get to issue that kind of order, have it refused, shrug, and wait for another try doing business as usual. No. If the military refuses you have a legitimacy collapse not just around the confiscation effort but of your government in general.

This is exactly the kind of situation in which civilian resistance can surge into successful insurrection; there are recent and telling examples from the breakup of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s. The endgame of this one would probably involve would-be confiscators being hung from lampposts. Even if it stopped short of that, the result would be a bicoastal liberal’s nightmare, with the new government’s policies dominated by people so hard-right that they’d make Donald Trump look like a squish.

(I’m not too happy about that scenario myself. But I’ll choose it, and even shed blood to make it happen, if I think the alternative is a successful gun-grab.)

1. Dan says:

I would opt to invite the military to work hand-in-glove with the rebels to oversee lawful use of force during the overthrow, and verifiable continuity of Constitutional law.

The military could also be useful to securely detain ex-government officials placed under militia arrest. No kangaroo courts.

I doubt anyone has any stomach for executions of such traitors, but I would like to see their citizenship irrevocably nullified following due process.

1. Eugine Nier says:

> I would opt to invite the military to work hand-in-glove with the rebels to oversee lawful use of force during the overthrow,

The problem is that the higher officers are now left-wing, thanks Obama. And coordinating a full scale mutiny of enlisted against officers is extremely hard.

> and verifiable continuity of Constitutional law.

Except, the country hasn’t been run under Constitutional law for nearly a century, and in the time the public education system has been busy brainwashing people that a return to said law would be heartless/racist/sexist/*phobic/etc.

2. Winter says:

People always ask how tyrants ever could get to power?

Now Republican voters are fantasizing about a military coup to overthrow a democratically elected government. That should answer this question. It is when a an elite minority wants to protect their privileges at all costs.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Uhm…why would Republicans need to fantasize about a military coup to overthrow this government?

Especially when the Democrats are working their asses off to make it happen?

1. Winter says:

“Uhm…why would Republicans need to fantasize about a military coup to overthrow this government?”

I would opt to invite the military to work hand-in-glove with the rebels to oversee lawful use of force during the overthrow, and verifiable continuity of Constitutional law.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Been there, done that. We’re coming up on the 242nd anniversary of the last time we rose up to overthrow a government grown tyrannical.

A government which abrogates basic Constitutional rights so blatantly – in American political theory, rights so fundamental that no government, no matter how large the majority that elected it, may do so – renders itself illegitimate, and the people have the right to overthrow it and restore Constitutional law.

1. Winter says:

As I wrote, fantasies of overthrowing the democratically elected government with the help of the military.

1. BassmanCO says:

Considering Trump is in office and righting many of the fuckups of the past few administrations, why would we want to overthrow the government?

2. strongpoint says:

“… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

2. Gosh, I didn’t know so many people wanted to kill Trump too! There’s still hope for this place.

1. BassmanCO says:

2. Jeff Gauch says:

“Democratically elected” != legitimate.

3. Eugine Nier says:

> In terms of realpolitik, some quick web searches indicate that the military vote was approximately 55% Trump/26% Clinton, 66% Romney/26% Obama.

What’s that in terms of enlisted vs. officers? My impression is that the higher rank officers these days are pretty left-wing, largely because you didn’t get to become or stay a high rank officer under Obama without mouthing left-wing nonsense.

3. William O. B'Livion says:

> And what’s with the absurd suggestion that the military will be out of the picture.

The military is largely drawn from the demographics that believe the 2nd amendment is a founding principle of this country.

Anyone who ordered the military to intervene would be demonstrating their inadequacy in that role.

Additionally the more you f*k around with the current rules the more people will at least tacitly support the shooters.

4. Ozzie the dog says:

After reading many of the posts, your message I have steadfastly adhered to. However, my only caveat would be that our herd would be thinned through soft confiscation.
First there would be a voluntary firearm registration.( Many will swallow that subterfuge.) Later a mandatory registration with a tax/fee on each gun held. Then a slow and fine grinding process of government gun grabbing by sanctioned agencies such as the IRS, SSA, DMV, heath insurance, etc.. At such time a lot of us will deplete our private arsenal, because it will be too costly and a “pain in the ass” to keep more than a few arms. For example, you may keep your shotgun, only if you purchase a hunting license, or you can’t have a gun “at home” if your taking “certain medications.”
These measures will thin “our herd” significantly. By the time the SHTF there won’t be enough of us left to willingly battle the stormtroopers/assassins invading our homes.

1. Ian Argent says:

Which is why the “soft” confiscation options are being fought so hard. Gun owners see them as the beginning of the slippery slope.

And before you say “that’s paranoid” there are plenty of anti-gunners who have gone on-record as saying that…

5. elysianfield says:

” If congress is willing to pass a gun confiscation bill they could just repeal Posse Comitatus (sp?) and even if they don’t there are any number of major exceptions to it involving disasters.”

Repeal the Posse Comitatus Act? Where have you been? The Act was repealed as part of the 2010 Appropriations act.

That doesn’t look like repeal to me. First because it’s an EO, not an act of Congress that alters the law. Second because the EO doesn’t apply to the Federal military, just the National Guard. Third, the National Guard was only half covered by Posse Comitatus anyway; it’s long been used (sometimes infamously) to suppress civil disorder when regular law enforcement failed.

Using the NG for gun confiscation would be grossly anti-Constitutional all right, but Posse Comitatus would be a crappy place to make that stand. You’d lose, and on precedent you’d deserve to. Don’t play stupid like that.

If Posse Comitatus was really repealed in 2010, I want to see a citation to an Act of Congress.

Finally, your source writes like a looneytoon and I’d check outside if he told me the sky is blue.

1. elysianfield says:

If Posse Comitatus was really repealed in 2010, I want to see a citation to an Act of Congress.

ESR,
Fair enough, another discussion link and then a comment;

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/national-defense-authorization-act/

I know this is anecdotal, but I remember comments on TV by Obama after he signed an order allowing suspension of the act…said that he signed the act but promised not to abuse the power…This I personally saw.

1. >Please read the entire article, including the comments made by Obama after signing the bill.

I have done so, and it is obvious that Posse Comitatus was in no way repealed by this act.

What it did was describe measures authorized for use by armed forces personnel (including the National Guard) if they have authority to participate in law-enforcement or counterterrorism under pre-existing law, including the restrictions in the Posse Comitatus act. It does not relax the conditions under which that authority is granted.

Not only is Posse Comitatus still legally in force, I learned while researching the issue that although as drafted it only restricts domestic deployment of the Army and Air Force, the Navy and Marines have adopted equivalent regulations under the belief that legislative intent was to include all Federal armed forces.

8. J says:

The interesting thing to watch with this article is whether the media will ask for the incarceration of the writer. The democrat commanded mass media has no problem punishing for wrongthink these days and I think a hard press will be coming to jail the writer of this analysis. This is more the tell of if we’re lurching towards tyrrany than the thought experiment in the piece. If we can’t ask the question “would gun confiscation be bad” anymore, we’re much closer to it being likely to happen.

On the Q&A site Quora, there are multitudes of questions for gun owners that go like “why can’t you give up your guns to SAVE THE CHILDREN.” Every one of them has the highest rated answer being a recitation of an individual’s natural rights for self defense and preservation. The left DOES NOT understand this frame of thought. They are like completely ignorant children. They don’t get the fact that confiscation, if successful, will save hundreds of lives but enable an eventual tyrrany that will kill millions. But the gun owners DO understand.

1. TRX says:

> The left DOES NOT understand this frame of thought.

That’s one of those things that sounds flippant, but I suspect it directly points out an underlying truth. I’ve personally talked with a very large number of people who are against concealed carry… because they simply can’t imagine that someone would go about their peaceful daily affairs while carrying one, without shooting someone. Because their personal scenarios apparently involve shooting at people who get their fast food order wrong, cut them off in traffic, or just look at them the wrong way. Obviously, if you’re carrying a gun, it’s there to be used at any provocation, otherwise why bother?

9. Dan says:

We have them outnumbered. We have them outgunned. We have them surrounded. We know who they are. We know where they live. We know they love their families.

It’s over before it ever begins.

10. Quite Likely says:

Hmm this seems a bit tautological in its conflation of private firearm ownership and lack of tyranny. Like “gun ownership protects against tyranny because if someone tries to come take our guns we can shoot them!” I buy gun ownership protects continued gun ownership, but you’ve got to have something more than that if it’s going to help with resisting tyranny. It’s not like the current level of gun ownership is doing anything to prevent NSA spying, police brutality, extrajudicial drone assassinations, or any of the other tyrannical state action. If a dictatorship was declared tomorrow you might be able to keep your guns, but they wouldn’t be able to keep you free.

1. Deep Lurker says:

The anecdotal evidence does point toward big cities with the most stringent anti-gun policies having the worst problems with police brutality and abuse of power. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston have worse reputations than Houston, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Columbus, or even Detroit.

I would like to see some proper studies run on this, because it might be an illusion, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the results did turn out to be “more guns, less police brutality.”

1. Greg says:

Don’t forget Baltimore.

2. Bram says:

At some point tyranny can’t progress without dealing with the gun owners. That’s how things progressed in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, and similar places.

I do not think a gun grab is going to occur in a vacuum. It would be part of a larger push towards reduced individual freedom and destruction of the Constitution.

11. This article would have been a lot more credible on first reading with the quote from the New York Times in the lede. To non-Americans, it sounds quite odd[1] right now.

–dave

12. An outright seizing of arms cannot happen for the reasons stated in this blog post. That’s why the liberal leftist communist socialist America-hating demoKKKrat types will never do it … instead, they are working on changing the culture. “Guns are bad,” they tell to everyone, on the airwaves, in the media, in schools, everywhere they can.

Their goal: to make gun ownership seem to everyone as much of an unfortunate historical “mistake” as slave ownership is now seen today.

Personally I think anyone who supports gun control should be shot. YMMV.

1. >Their goal: to make gun ownership seem to everyone as much of an unfortunate historical “mistake” as slave ownership is now seen today.

And look how well that’s working. Popular support for gun rights is actually at an all time high. Range attendance and gun sales are booming – have you priced a compact .45 lately or even the ammo for it lately? The list of constitutional-carry jurisdictions gets longer every year.

No, they’ve lost this particular culture war. They only avoid knowing this because they live in a hermetically sealed media bubble.

1. lastredoubt says:

Whether the public propaganda of “guns R bad mmmkay” is working or not – I’m not sure. In some ways it seems its backfired yet the media seems to be all over it every bit they can so someone thinks it has a chance – look at recent actions by intuit screwing with payment processing for 2A related stores and activities. Or what stripe just pulled with Freestartr and several other wrongthink sites.

https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2018/05/it-seems-it-really-is-risky-to-do.html

2. I wonder how much the Internet has to do with this. I credit it for pulling me from basically communist to basically right libertarian in the span of 10 years but I don’t know how much this generalizes.

1. Things work definitely different now. Throughout the long 20th century people derived their social status from their economic status. Thus politics – which is all about status competition – centered around economic policy and structure, from communism to capitalism, was all the rage. There was even this weird chimera term “socio-economic status”. It would have made no sense to a penniless medieval knight who obviously had higher social status than a rich merchant. And it makes no sense now when driving a Prius or riding a bicycle is higher status than driving a BMW. People gain more status now by signalling leftist values like environmentalism than by signalling wealth.

And even that is changing. Now WSJ is saying even climate change alarmism descended into social justice identity politics: https://archive.li/NcW8x which amounts to admitting it was a hoax as an extinction-level threat just cannot be compared to transgender toilets in importance.

So this is CURRENT_YEAR. The culture war is everything. Today a straight white male at college will either apply lipstick and say straight white males suck, or keep his head down in simmering anger and post nazi frogs on the chans. This is what we have today. Economic political debates, the whole socialism-capitalism debate is on the backburner because it is currently less relevant to social status.

And this is the same thing actually. While many libs were against guns for a long time, today guns also have a culture war aspect in the US. They are associated with the kind of people whom the left in the UK today calls gammons: https://unherd.com/2018/05/friday-tragedy-gammons

A gammon is a middle-aged or old white man with an ugly face red from arguing vehemently against a leftist idea. He is at the same time a powerful oppressor of marginalized people and a ridiculously low status prole. He is a Trumpist, a Brexiter, a redneck, but this term is now wider, a redneck used to be rural, now a gammon is nearly every older white male, suburban, urban, anyone except strong Progressive allies and they could be called gammons any time if someone wants take them a notch.

For example, today hunting is uncool because it is associated with gammons. Remember the outrage about that dentist and a lion he took. And in the US guns are associated culturally with them. Hating guns is a way to hate straight white men. And capitalism, libertarianism associated with them.

Of course organizations like Pink Pistols are making the picture more complicated. Today it is a very dynamic shitstorm of who hates whom, changing weekly, not the old, stable, predictable socialists vs. capitalists camps.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

> And it makes no sense now when driving a Prius or
> riding a bicycle is higher status than driving a BMW.

Not in most social circles.

3. > No, they’ve lost this particular culture war. They only avoid knowing this because they live in a hermetically sealed media bubble.

Well, some of them acknowledge they’ve lost. As I mentioned last fall, there was a PBS Newshour op-ed video (since made unavailable, dammit!) from just after the Las Vegas shooting, where Mark Shields and David Brooks were wailing about the inability to pass “commonsense gun control legislation”, and the latter said that the social change the anti-gunners want “has to come from the people in this country who own guns”.

And I reiterate what I said back then – Fat. Fscking. Chance!

4. William O. Blivion says:

> have you priced a compact .45 lately

I’m assuming by “Compact .45” you mean “Compact 1911 pattern pistol” because there are a bunch of high quality defense oriented .45 caliber pistols out there that are less than 1/2 what you can by a 1911 for, and many of them are *better* for self defense.

1911. Lots of old guys carry those.

The problem with the 1911 as far as cost is concerned is that it was designed in an era where you chose between loose tolerances or lots of hand fitting. Loose tolerances are ok on a pistol intended to be carried by a soldier as either a backup to their primary. They aren’t OK on something where you might want to shoot someone in the right eyeball at 50 feet.

In the contemporary world people expect to have both, which requires more machining and machine time.

1911 makers also tend to be small, boutique shops (tend).

Those to factors are just flat out going to be more pricey than something designed for modern automated production at scale.

A Glock 30S — not top of the line, but a good reliable pistol — is about 200 buck cheaper than a Rock Island Ultra CS.

The Glocks haven’t change their prices much over the last few years. If you’re seeing increases in the cost of 1911s, it’s not overall market forces.

AR15s are as cheap as they’ve been in 4-5 years.

> or even the ammo for it lately?

Ammo is IMMENSELY subject to commodity prices.

Lead, copper and zinc are used in lots of industrial production.

1. >there are a bunch of high quality defense oriented .45 caliber pistols out there that are less than 1/2 what you can by a 1911 for, and many of them are *better* for self defense.

Possibly. I’ll admit that I think I’m slightly more accurate with a Glock 40. But the difference only matters at longer than self-defense range, and I haven’t found anything else as comfortable as a 1911. The stock fits my hand well and I like the effect of the slow-cycle action.

>If you’re seeing increases in the cost of 1911s, it’s not overall market forces.

The gun-shop guys I talk to say differently. They claim that a lot of new shooters ask for 1911 these days and it’s difficult to keep the compacts in stock.

1. Jeremy says:

If you get a chance to shoot a SIG P220 chambered in .45, do so. I found the grip quite comfortable. That was the gun that clued me in on how the slower cycle of .45 makes it comfortable and controllable to shoot, despite its greater power relative to 9x19mm or .40S&W.

5. No, they’ve lost this particular culture war. They only avoid knowing this because they live in a hermetically sealed media bubble.

Not just a media buble, more the social balkanization of the US.

1. >more the social balkanization of the US.

I don’t think that’s a useful way to describe it. “Balkanization” has some important implications that aren’t present here. For it to hold, every member of every faction would have to live close enough to other factions to make demographic expansion difficult for anybody without warfare. Whereas in our case one faction is busily aborting and alternate-lifestyling itself out of existence, while members of the other often live in places where there are no hostile tribesmen for hundreds of miles in any direction.

1. Fair point. But there is a growing geographic divide: if the Balkans are the wrong model, is there a better one?

1. >Fair point. But there is a growing geographic divide: if the Balkans are the wrong model, is there a better one?

I’ve been trying to think of historical precedents and coming up blank. Maybe the Fronde revolt…but no, that’s not very close either.

13. tz says:

It will not happen here in Wyoming or nearby states. Look at what happened to the Bundys, and the FBI is on trial for creating a kill zone and assassinating LeVoy Finnicum – and there wasn’t even a warrant for any of them from Malheur.

As to FDR’s confiscation of gold – it was in safety deposit boxes in Banks or otherwise NOT in the owner’s posession (I wonder how many vacations to Canada to cash things in). They also did not confiscate silver, which is what most of the lower classes had. Basically it was confiscating BMWs, Teslas, Mercedes, and Caddilacs.

Guns are a different matter, first the whole CCW. Your police might be good little fedbots, but many around here would get on the various radio stations and amateur radio and the plans for the first raid would be known in a thousand mile radius. And that is part of the problem with doing it here.

Even FDR paid \$20/oz for “confiscated gold”, pesky 5th amendment. And that pesky 4th amendment. I doubt even the worst version of “we won’t pay you for your confiscated property” would fly, then there are security personnel, police, etc. so you can’t cofiscate 100%.

As an experiment, the Chicago police should simply try to enforce the existing gun ban there. There are thousands of shootings each year in what technically is a “gun free zone”.

Some home workshops here have more guns and bullets than the National Guard Armory. And they are scattered. It is one thing to knock on every door of an apartment building and try to search. Or even a city block. When each ranch is a mile or more apart? When some of them have armed cowboys tending cattle where you can only access on horseback?

But it is the civil war everyone fears and seems more likely to happen each day. It isn’t the red state half that worries about guns and wants them removed. As the left becomes more unhinged and militant and tyrannical (they are the ones that force Christians to bake Gay cakes), they see guns as a real resistance, far more so than the improvised weapons of anti-fa.

The left almost always attacks too early out of Hubris. They brought us Hillary. Now Heithcamp (ND) will decamp and Tester (MT) is toast. The Senate may have 60 republicans as well as an expanded majority in the house.

ESR wrote “Democrats, we have to talk”. The Democrats have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, and are having their own civil war without issues except “Impeach Trump!”. Half are the Hillary corrupt cronies, Tamany hall on steroids, and the other half want Venezeula – “free health care”, “free college”, ban guns, hate-speech (and this is the other lit fuse for the civil war – the Tech Giants are censoring and everyone is noticing that the SPLC is a hate group saying everyone to the right of them is a Nazi), free housing because homelessness, open borders, release everyone from prison etc.

It may be time for another “talk”, but the problem the swamp still has from 3 years ago when Trump de-escalated and announced is they won’t listen. Trump nor the Trumpcons have no dog whistle. They just have a megaphone. But the left and establishment hasn’t noticed they are deaf and their hearing aids and cochlear implants are off – they shut them off at the first uncouth tweet.

1. Jeff Read says:

and the other half want Venezeula – “free health care”, “free college”, ban guns, hate-speech (and this is the other lit fuse for the civil war – the Tech Giants are censoring and everyone is noticing that the SPLC is a hate group saying everyone to the right of them is a Nazi), free housing because homelessness, open borders, release everyone from prison etc.

How exactly do these things correspond with Venezuela?

I’m a big believer in salus populi suprema lex esto — the well-being of the people shall be the highest law. And if you look at actual data — not ideological platitudes — what you find is that people do better in social democracies with government-funded health care and higher education, where there are legal restrictions not only on what instruments of violence one may own but on what kinds of brushfires one may set in men’s minds, and yet far fewer people are imprisoned and such prisoners as do exist are treated humanely.

Therefore, I do not have the sort of slavish devotion to the 1787 Constitution that passes for legal philosophy among American conservatives, and I find it hard to imagine that attempts to reform U.S. law to more closely resemble Western Europe, even if it entailed radical Constitutional reform, would not be beneficial to Americans.

1. >people do better in social democracies with government-funded health care and higher education

Total fantasy. The way we know this is by observing net migration flows – how people vote with their feet.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

Here’s some actual data for Jeff Read:

Roughly 700,000 Canadian residents were born U.S. citizens.

Roughly 800,000 U.S. residents were born Canadian citizens.

While this might seem like only a slight advantage for the U.S., one must also consider that the population of the United States is roughly 10 times that of Canada, meaning that an average Canadian is roughly 10 times as likely to emigrate to the United States than the other way around.

Apparently “free health care” isn’t as appealing as the conventional wisdom would have you believe.

1. Sean C. says:

Source please? Most dual citizens I know aren’t immigrants; they just inherited citizenship from a parent.

Counting cross border immigration is a harder problem than that.

2. Dan says:

Except it’s never “the well-being of the people” that *actually* turns out to be the highest law. Oh, that’s how it’s *sold* to the masses…but it is always revealed that the *real* law of the land was always “the well-being of the rulers”

Keep showering the people with ‘free’ this, that & the other…rhetorically dancing away the attention from the myth of ‘government provided’ anything, keeping the people happy with goods & services paid for by money taken from them – and you damn proles better be grateful for all your government lovingly provides for you!

Suckers. One almost has no sympathy for such willing stockholm syndrome victims.

3. Doctor Locketopus says:

> — what you find is that people do better in social democracies with government-funded health care and higher education, where there are legal restrictions not only on what instruments of violence one may own but on what kinds of brushfires one may set in men’s minds (yadda, yadda, yadda)

Even if your Marxist sugarplum vision weren’t pure fantasy, one needs to reflect that a farmed animal has a much better life by almost every measure than a wild member of the same species — until the slaughter comes.

Some people are happy being well-fed slaves. Others prefer liberty, even if that comes at the expense of missing an occasional meal. You are clearly one of the former.

1. Dan says:

They are happy to be corralled, fenced, and farmed livestock…and they wish to see the wild animals reduced to their level.

Seeing us is a constant painful reminder of how low they are.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

Yup. Farm animals get free food, free housing, and free health care. Everything except freedom. Such a deal.

Of course, if the farm animal starts using too much “free” stuff, it gets put down.

1. Dan says:

“Farm animals get free food, free housing, and free health care. Everything except freedom.”

Oooh…nicely done, sir ;)

2. Dan says:

…actually, they do get free dumb.

4. Sigivald says:

And if you look at actual data — not ideological platitudes — what you find is that people do better in social democracies with government-funded health care and higher education, where there are legal restrictions not only on what instruments of violence one may own but on what kinds of brushfires one may set in men’s minds, and yet far fewer people are imprisoned and such prisoners as do exist are treated humanely

Citation needed, especially for the scientific experiment you ran on that, with what control group?

(Or do you mean “Europe is better and it has those things, sort of, so they’re the reason” kind of stuff?)

5. William O. Blivion says:

> what you find is that people do better in social democracies
> with government-funded health care and higher education, where
> there are legal restrictions not only on what instruments of violence
> one may own but on what kinds of brushfires one may set in men’s minds

No, what you find is that they’re more obedient, more pliant, and happier with their increase in chocolate rations.

That you believe that is “better” is your malfunction.

6. “the well being of the people shall be the highest law”.

Who decides?

If anyone is claiming to decide my wellbeing for me, fuck that. I will make my own choices, even if I choose “wrong”.

And if someone claims their wellbeing requires them to do something that reduces my wellbeing, who wins? Fuck that, too.

Fundamental negative rights. Limited government power. Checks and balances in a constitutional republic, backstopped by the collective AND personal right to armed self defense to ensure we keep those rights.

Anything else is someone else deciding they can make my choices for me, and fuck that.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

> Who decides?

The Experts decide what is best for you. You know the ones educated by Government Schools, and credentialed by the appropriate Government Approved colleges and who work for The Government, or for one of their approved think tanks.

7. “People do better in social democracies with government-funded health care and higher education”…

Tommy Robinson and 5000 raped kids from Rotherham called and asked to say “Hi!” to you.

Tell another one. It might be funnier.

8. Different policies for different populations. Let’s BOTH sides of the debate consider this: social democracy has already been partially established in the American education system: there are public schools. If you compare them with European public schools do you see a difference? I.e. do the same social democractic policies lead to different outcomes in different countries, cultures?

I say yes. American public school is all about standardized testing. European public school allows teachers more subjective grading, or at least that was that in my time. It sucked when the teacher was bad, it was good when you could build a personal relationship and understanding and have more customization. I could agree with my gym teacher that while I am fairly hopeless at doing a cartwheel, improve my gym grade by more strength testing which I was good at.

From this it follows what the American public hospital would look like. It would be all about optimizing standardized statistics. It would not listen to patients, it would be more like this test shows your X outcome is good enough, you are cured, go home. The European public hospital is not like that because the European public school is not like that because the culture is different.

(My hunch is that the focus on standardized testing comes from the dual, and somewhat contradictory cultural facts of having a high competitive spirit yet wanting it to be very fair with equal chances. So in my eyes American culture tends to see everything like a sports league. And I think over here the lower focus on competition and high achievement and winning at life means we can tolerate more unfairness and it means we can tolerate more subjectivity. Lower competitive spirit in Europe does not mean everybody gets a participation trophy, it means nobody gets a trophy – we often played football without keeping score, without anyone winning, just for the sake of enjoying the game.)

There is no one policy that fits all cultures.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Actually, the focus on standardized testing comes from something simpler: you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

9. William O. B'Livion says:

> Therefore, I do not have the sort of slavish devotion to the
> 1787 Constitution that passes for legal philosophy among
> American conservatives,

We haven’t lived under the 1787 Constitution since 1803 at the earliest, and 1912 at the latest.

Us conservatives just insist that if you don’t want to do what the constitution *says*, you follow the rules in the constitution for CHANGING it.

> and I find it hard to imagine that attempts to reform U.S. law to
> more closely resemble Western Europe, even if it entailed radical
> Constitutional reform, would not be beneficial to Americans.

By many measures Western Europeans are poorer and less free than Americans, and that’s with the US picking up most of the tab for their defense (NATO). If the US pulled out of NATO and pulled all of our troops out of Germany…Now THAT would be fun. For about 15-20 years. And then you’d REALLY start to see how nationalistic and authoritarian those governments are.

You have a fairy tale view of Europe. Most US Progressives do.

1. >You have a fairy tale view of Europe. Most US Progressives do.

So true. I’ve actually lived there; I know better.

2. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Some home workshops here have more guns and bullets than the National Guard Armory.

Indeed. In my neck of the woods, a common response to a histrionic news story about someone’s “arsenal” of (e.g.) five guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition is “That’s not an arsenal. That’s the hall closet.”

3. Doctor Locketopus says:

> (I wonder how many vacations to Canada to cash things in).

Quite a few, as I understand it. There were also plenty of people who got a sudden urge to take a cruise to Europe (along with their suspiciously heavy luggage). Switzerland was a popular side trip on these European vacations, no doubt due to the majestic mountains and lakes.

14. TRX says:

> if we popularize the knowledge needed to gunsmith guns all the way from a chunk of iron.

There are multiple web forums dedicated to just that. And most machinist’s forums have subforums. And even unlikely places like some 4×4 forums have large gunsmithing and gunmaking subforums. You’ll find everything from “I built a kit!” to guys who make their own primers to guys drilling and rifling their own barrels

Guns are pretty simple to make. And if they’re illegal anyway, there’s no need to worry about regulations concerning rifling, barrel length, or fully-automatic fire…

1. Sigivald says:

It’s much easier to make a submachinegun than a semi-auto pistol, yes, as I understand it.

Making it NOT fire as long as you hold down the trigger is the tricky, complicated bit…

1. Ian Argent says:

Open bolt SMG is the easiest “machinegun” to make – it is actually harder to make it STOP repeating until it’s done with the magazine.

Which is why the BATFE considers all or almost all open bolt firearms to be “readily convertible,” or so I’ve been told. The civilian-legal M240 is a closed bolt design because of this.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Open bolt SMG is the easiest “machinegun” to make

Yeah, a lot of Brits with well-equipped garages cranked out a lot of STENs during WWII.

15. Ian Argent says:

We came a LOT closer than I’d like to have to ACW II: Guerrillas in the Midst with the Bundy prosecution and the Malheur Sieger (and aftermath).I shudder to think what might have happened if either “siege” had gone “hot” on-site – the news could not have been suppressed, and I don’t think the feds involved would have gotten off “as easily” as Lon Horiuchi did, back in the day. (Look it up)

1. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

And this is what the internet have wrought. Now Lon Horiuchi and the backstory around what he did, is readily accessible. Back then… neither. Same with Philip Brailsford of Mesa infamy. The Internet don’t surf, but it also don’t forget.

16. If anyone tried to pull it off, maybe they’d be dumb and stick to this home invasion stuff. I still don’t like the individual’s odds in that situation, since the government can always bring more firepower to the party than the gun owners. They also get to pick the time and place…

So, if they aren’t dumb, they pick folks up in-transit, at work, at a movie theater, etc… Especially if your name is in a database somewhere.

Armed stand-offs tend to be bad for P.R., but then again, the overwhelming force of the government ends up trumping whatever the individual has in his home.

Those of us who tend to eschew the political tend to miss the fact that we are basically surrounded by people happily using political means to rig the system against us at all times.

1. >So, if they aren’t dumb, they pick folks up in-transit, at work, at a movie theater, etc…

Huh? Remember that the premise was gun confiscation, not jailing gun owners.

There are upwards of 79 million gun owners in the U.S. Where are you going to put us?

1. Jeff Read says:

They don’t have to put you anywhere, just detain you while they search your home and seize any guns found therein. You can’t put up armed resistance if you’re being held at the station. They may eventually let you go, but good luck ever seeing those guns again.

They don’t even have to do this to every gun owner, just the orneriest ones. Most of the rest will fall in line to avoid being treated like terrorists or drug dealers by the neighbors (and the neighbors will do this).

1. >They don’t have to put you anywhere, just detain you while they search your home and seize any guns found therein.

Detain me on what charge? Have you noticed police arresting people at work to clear the way for drug searches of their homes? Have you ever wondered why this does not happen?

It’s because, despite the best efforts of totalitarian tools like you, this country still has an ingrained notion of due process and a Constitutional bar against ex post facto laws. The police cannot detain me without arresting me and charging me with a crime. They can’t make me into an arrestable criminal by ordering confiscation and assuming in advance that I will fail to comply.

Now multiply me by 79 million. Even if you could blow past all those procedural problems and identify all 79 million of us in advance, you think you can organize rolling temporary detentions adding up to 79 million people in precise enough synchronization with the raider schedules to avoid confrontations during the raids and avoid massively exceeding your detention capacity at any point?

And you think the attempt wouldn’t trigger the popular uprising, political and/or insurrectionary, that you’re trying to head off?

Yeah. What happens the first time a presumed gun owner who is black gets shot for resisting preventive detention? Do you think your political coalition will survive that word getting out by even 48 hours, jackass?

1. Sigivald says:

I agree, but would note that “ex post facto laws” still aren’t in play there.

(And I bring this up mainly because I see lots of weird beliefs about the EPFL clause in gun circles, for some reason.

For the home audience: An EPFL is a law that makes something that was legal in the past illegal in the past, punishing you now for behavior that was legal at the time.

A gun ban, to take the common example, is not an EPFL – it criminalizes further possession after the law takes effect, not historical possession before that time.

Now, if per the hypothetical, they arrested people “assuming that they just won’t comply”, that’s a due process problem, but that’s due process, not the EPF clause.)

2. How long would you hold me?

What happens when you only find 40% of my guns, because the rest are elsewhere, and some of them you couldn’t find in twenty years of looking?

So now I’m loose, already radicalized, and I only have 60% of my guns and ammunition available to use. In other words, probably only enough to arm and equip a decent-size platoon or so of guys, instead of a full company.

Whaddya think I’m going to do about your cunning plan THEN?

This is nothing but people who can’t do math, playing silly buggers. It’s like 1941 Germany taking on the world, or Japan taking on the US, as if they ever had a hope in hell of winning.

This ends like the hijackings on 9/11: after the third time, the people take you on with butter knives, within about an hour of the news coming out what you’re up to.

FFS, three guys, two Americans and a Brit, took on a dude on a train with an AK-47 and a pistol with just their bare hands.

Someone seriously thinks they’re going to take away my guns against that kind of resolve???
Come at me, bro.

Game over.

2. James Noyes says:

That’s actually a really good idea! After they get rid of the guns, perhaps they can round up people who say hateful things. Or voted the wrong way. Or gay people. Then the minorities. There’s got to be some sort of Final Solution to get rid of the Undesirables.

Oooh! Recruit the children to inform on their parents. Teach them from a young age the proper way to behave! They can wear uniforms, and never ever fail to solute the flag!

Once that is accomplished, the rest of us good Folk will have Living Space.

I mean, your plan failed the last time, but at least your people managed to kill 6 million…

1. Eugine Nier says:

You joke, but there are a disturbingly large number of disturbingly powerful people who would love to do that.

1. James Noyes says:

I’m mostly hoping to highlight for him the similarities with his ideas and those of the most famous Gun Control Advocates ever. Not trying to go full-on Godwin. Just hoping that Jeff Read can at least see why so many people react so strongly to his 80 year old idea of the Fatherland pacifying its people.

We do have a violence problem in this country, but focusing on the tools is never going to get us there.

1. Winter says:

The horrors you are referring too did not start with confiscating guns. They started with citizens and mobs attacking “left wing liberals” and minorities. Then these citizens joined a “pure honest patriotic” organization that grabbed power to clean the state.

Private gun ownership was never a point in this.

1. James Noyes says:

(Goes to research your assertion)

You are partially right, so I must modify my argument. The first moves of the Nazis were against socialists and communists, as well as anti-capitalist pushes against the Weimar Republic, not to confiscate guns.

After being lawfully elected, Hitler actually relaxed the pre-existing Weimar Republic gun control laws….. But only for “Honest Germans”. The laws became *more* restrictive for the Jews.

The NSDAP then used those laws to raid the houses of Jewish people to “Search for Weapons”.

We know how that worked out in the end…..

That anyone would try to disarm the American people when Trump (the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Hitler) is in power is astounding to me.

1. Winter says:

We also know that private gun ownership never was a point in Nazi politics.

You are simply wrong.

1. James Noyes says:

Private gun ownership as a political party platform, no. I didn’t intend to imply it was.

But disarming people they intended to kill was certainly a large part of their methodology.

2. Point of order:
Nazis vs. Communists was national socialists against international socialists.
Not right wing against left wing.

It was the Iran-Iraq War of the 1930s.
The left against the lefter.

And in all things socialist, the common denominator isn’t gun control, it’s people control.

The trouble for today’s leftards is, we already know where the trains are letting off.

Best get a time machine and try to sell that crap 80 years ago.

It’s D.O.A. nowadays, for all but the 80 IQ adherents.

Marx had a name for them too, and it wasn’t complimentary.

3. William O. Blivion says:

You’re failing to understand the scope of the problem.

79 **MILLION** gun owners.

MILLION Jeff. MILLION.

And you need to get the DANGEROUS ones FIRST. Which means sorting them out.

You need to keep the guys you’re going to stop on Day 2 from hearing about it.

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

1. TRX says:

> 79 million people

I note that a lot of people don’t consider the family .22 or 12 gauge to be a “gun.” My parents would have honestly said there were no guns in their house, while Grandpa’s 12-gauge and Dad’s Marlin .22 (and ammunition) were right there in the gun rack in the family room.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

Really?

I can see not considering a .22 a *weapon*, but it’s still a gun.

1. Really. I know people whose family told them for their whole lives that they did not own any guns. And then they inherited several.

People who don’t use them, who don’t become part of the “gun culture”, but still happen to have them in their homes as heirlooms or childhood interests or grand-dad’s huntin’ rifle just don’t think of themselves as gun owners. They may own a gun or two, but they are not “gun owners”. It’s not a part of their identity.

2. Dan says:

Pick up folks in transit etc? Are you fucking mad?

That totally wouldn’t look like soviet russia at all…all over the net in HD. Maybe they can stick needles in our necks as they abduct citizens for even better optics.

Way to absolutely trigger an actual civil war, jackass.

1. Jeff Read says:

You misunderestimate the bad optics of literally sticking to your guns at a time when absolute gun rights are rapidly falling out of the Overton window. I think the only ones who would fight your fantasy “civil war”, if it got to that point, are the ones who are itching for one to begin with. And those will be rounded up and prosecuted under anti-terror laws easily enough.

1. Dan says:

…and pathetic toadying wretches like you and your ilk will no doubt be applauding from the sidelines as we’re “rounded up” – you’re all far too cowardly to actually get your hands dirty and risk a day of reckoning with my ilk.

You’d better hope your fantasies about such “easy” enforcement come true. If they don’t, we won’t forget you. (pro tip – they won’t come true…far from it)

PS. you may not be able to see this from inside your bubble, but the ‘Overton Window’ is actually moving the other way.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

I hereby volunteer Jeff Read and his useful idiot fellow travelers for the gun confiscation mission. I’m sure he won’t mind. Taking the guns and “rounding up” the gun owners is going to be easy. He said so, right?

P.S. we don’t give a shit about “optics”.

1. Dan says:

…except the optics that help us ventilate some POS from 100-200 yards.

We keep those optics nice and clean.

(Then the weasels will start squeaking about ‘assault sniper rifles’ – y’know, like the one your grandpa used to bag deer)

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

Yeah, the idiot’s pretend distinction between an evil “assault rifle” (only kills people) and a good “hunting rifle” (only kills deer) is always amusing.

Mammals is mammals. Anything that will reliably kill a deer will kill a human. .30-’06 is a very popular deer cartridge, but that sure wasn’t why it was designed. The same is true of .303 British in the commonwealth countries, for much the same reasons.

I even remember .303 being somewhat popular in the U.S. in my youth, due largely to the collapsing British Empire dumping vast quantities of Lee-Enfields on the international market for dirt-cheap prices. I don’t see so many of those any more. They’re still making new rifles in .30-’06, of course.

1. TRX says:

7.62x54R has overtaken both .30-06 and .303 in the American market. Not that there’s anything wrong with .30-06 or .303, just that the American civilian shooter market swallowed entire arsenals full of Warsaw Pact military surplus, belched politely, and asked for more…

I’ve sometimes thought it ironic that if it ever comes down to “soap box, ballot box, ammo box”, the majority of my bulk ammunition is in boxes with Cyrillic chicken tracks.

“All your guns are belong to U.S.”

1. William O. B'Livion says:

Where do you get the information that 7.62x54R has overtaken .30-06 or .308 in the US market?

2. Sigivald says:

“Absolute gun rights”.

You mean, I suppose, “any at all”?

Because we have nothing like “absolute” gun rights already in America.

1. I just want to point out I am not a totalitarian. Can’t tell if Jeff Read is, or if he just likes yanking your chain.

I am however, pointing out a real possibility. The surveillance system is out of control in this country. If they wanted to be really slick, they could just engineer a traffic jam. Keep you away from home long enough for them to search in peace.

But they probably aren’t that smart, which means a lot of good people will end up dead. And there’s no telling if any sort of effective backlash ensues once you are dead. We need more effective coordination at a more local level to have a better chance

1. You aren’t getting the scale part of this argument. Confiscating one person’s guns is trivial. Heck, outright murder them and make it look like an accident. That’s trivial too.

Now, do it to one-fifth of the individuals in a country. It’s a totally different problem. You can’t wake up one day, cause a “traffic jam” that will trap 73 million people, and go charging in with 500 million SWAT members while they’re stuck in magic traffic jam that affected the gun owners, but not your attempts to position 500 million SWAT members, and confiscate all the guns.

Scale is a critical component of the argument. Positing ways of confiscating one person’s guns is uninteresting by way of triviality.

1. I think the scale at which some sort of reliable defense might be achieved would occur at least at the county level. You need at least some government cover, because you need counter-surveillance. And local cops who don’t let their camera feeds go back to D.C. or wherever they send all the intel..
A better scale would be a governor turning this whole thing on it’s head and making a sort of ‘civil defense’ which basically consists of folks doing what they should be able to do in a free country, but now they have status and coordination.
But scale 317 is the same scale as conservatives and their constant inability to conserve anything.
I recommend 4th Generation Warfare Handbook by William S. Lind and Gregory A.Thiele.

2. The surveillance system argument goes both ways. If they tried that on any large scale, the police raids would be on the internet in HD the next day. Most modern cameras are good enough to read license plates and recognize faces. The results of that I leave as an exercise for the reader.

1. You remember Lavoy? The video actually came from the government. They wanted us to see that. If they don’t want us to see it, they can plan for that. But then it would be a good idea to plan yourself- hopefully with others around you to make sure we did get that HD video the next day- although hopefully it is video of you winning.

3. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

“I just want to point out I am not a totalitarian. Can’t tell if Jeff Read is, or if he just likes yanking your chain.”

I vote for ‘and’…

3. JimR says:

The bubble you are living in, shrinks around you daily.

4. William O. Blivion says:

> when absolute gun rights are rapidly falling out of the Overton window.

You’re delusional.

In 1986:
Constitutional carry: 1
Shall issue: 8
May issue: 25
No issue: 15

Constitutional carry 11
Shall issue 28
May issue 8
No issue 0

There is a *MONTHS* long backlog at the BATF for getting a tax stamp to own suppressors.

The DOJ is INUNDATED with 4473s. The last 3 years have been record setting.

There was talk *at the national level* of moving Suppressors off the class III list and making them like any “other” weapon.

No, absolute gun rights are just about as in the Overton window as ever.

5. Akatsukami says:

You misunderestimate the bad optics of disappearing gun owners Argentinian-junta style, even temporarily.

17. Eugine Nier says:

Um, their first step is not going to be confiscations. Remember, these are the people who invented Salami tactics.

The first steps are going to be things like putting gun owners on watch lists that forces them to jump through annoying bureaucratic hoops to go about their daily lives. This is not going to deter someone like our host, but it will make the marginal gun owner more likely to give up his gun just to avoid the hassle. Simultaneously, they start going after the most outspoken gun advocates on trumped up charges, e.g., “spreading hate speech”, “right-wing domestic terrorism”. This puts them in an impossible position: if they go quietly, their guns get confiscated; if they shoot the agents arresting them or worse, start shooting up government offices, this “confirms” the government’s claims about them being “dangerous terrorists” especially since the reason for the raid nominally isn’t about gun confiscation.

1. >The first steps

Remember that we need only 1 in 317 active resisters to win. This two-phase strategy depends for success on the assumption that either (a) the entire critical fraction can be deterred by the first step, or (b) the critical fraction won’t go to a war footing once the “trumped-uppedness” of the charges becomes clearly.

1. Eugine Nier says:

They won’t arrest all the critical fraction at once. They can go after them one or two at a time on various charges. At what point along that process do you go “on a war footing”? Whatever that means.

> the critical fraction won’t go to a war footing once the “trumped-uppedness”

Except there will never be a singe (Schelling) point when that happens.

1. They can go after them one or two at a time on various charges.

Again, scale matters here. The problem with salami tactics is that it takes a process that is already impossible, because they can’t do it fast enough, and makes it even slower.

I understand the idea that intimidation tactics can be scaled in slowly, but that requires the intimidated to cooperate with the tactics. This seems like the least likely grouping you could imagine for such cooperation. And remember that “the slowly boiled frog never leaps out of the pot” turns out to be a myth, both literally, and generally figuratively, and, again, this is already the grouping of people most on the look out for being slowly boiled anyhow.

This salami is going to have to be sliced so slowly that it is virtually indistinguishable from not being sliced at all.

1. Eugine Nier says:

> Again, scale matters here. The problem with salami tactics is that it takes a process that is already impossible, because they can’t do it fast enough, and makes it even slower.

Time isn’t on our side here. The 1 in 317 people Eric loves to brag about aren’t getting any younger.

> I understand the idea that intimidation tactics can be scaled in slowly, but that requires the intimidated to cooperate with the tactics.

You haven’t been paying attention to the culture wars for the past ~50 years, have you?

1. BassmanCO says:

>Time isn’t on our side here. The 1 in 317 people Eric loves to brag about aren’t getting any younger.

Really? Have you been to a gun range and seen the number of teens and twenty year-olds shooting? Methinks you are either projecting or full of shit.

1. kjj says:

It lots of places, Trap Shooting is the fastest growing high school sport. It has been across the whole state of Minnesota for several years now.

1. Jay Maynard says:

In rural Minnesota, sure. The Fairmont trap team is doing pretty well. But how about the metro Twin Cities area?

2. Eugine Nier says:

> the critical fraction won’t go to a war footing once the “trumped-uppedness” of the charges becomes clearly.

So how many people went on a war footing over the Bundy ranch standoff?

1. You didn’t pay very close attention to how that turned out, did you?

2. BassmanCO says:

Molon labe, bitches.

3. William O. Blivion says:

> The first steps are going to be things like putting gun owners on watch lists that forces them to jump through annoying bureaucratic hoops to go about their daily lives.

They keep trying that.

And they keep getting it shoved in their faces.

300 million guns out there, a trivial percentage (NFA weapons) registered at the federal level. Slightly more at the state level.

They don’t even know what doors to kick in.

18. JimR says:

Not to mention that there are a lot of folk who might baulk at shooting a cop over this, who would have no problem shooting some thug with a gun. Some people are still unconvinced the govt will murder them in their sleep if it gets the chance. Please give them blue helmets, that makes target ID easy.

1. William O. Blivion says:

If I’m not on the list for the first day, why would I shoot the cops? I mean, other than them violating their oaths of office.

Leave a couple of the less useful guns in the safe, say I sold all the rest in F2F events years ago, and the next day start shooting politicians.

1. JimR says:

yeah, there’d be a fair bit of that too.

some of us are just plain ornery, and others favor a more planned out response.

2. brian says:

It’s what happens on Day Two that matters.

19. Paranoid or Persecuted? says:

I think your calculations fail to take into account the more subtle disarmament processes that are presently underway. In several states, there are now “red flag” laws, where firearms may be seized preemptively from individuals:

The population seems to be buying the authoritarian motto of “see something, say something”. Anonymous individuals can file reports about anyone with the authorities. Worse, those authorities can amass those reports without the subjects’ knowledge, denying the citizenry the ability to face their accusers or to refute the claims.

Altogether, we have already put into place a slippery slope for selective disarmament of those individuals who would resist.

How long until the declared willingness to exercise the second amendment right to kill a hypothetical gun-seizing doorknocker will be interpreted as “risk of hurting another person”, and thus a candidate for red flag disarmament? I mean, I can just hear their rational now, “you’re talking about killing other human beings who are just following orders! Those poor individuals didn’t organize the campaign; they just needed a paycheck to eat, like everyone else. Many will be 18, just out of school. Won’t someone please think of those poor children?”

Today, those doorknockers will sure as heck be armed government agents: police, sheriffs, or beyond. To some, you would have to be “crazy” to use lethal force against such individuals, as the reason for their visit would predicated on a legal warrant or other rule, right? Even if a court eventually strikes down that legal authority, their actions probably will be considered “legal” on the day that it occurs, and witnesses will rarely intervene because lest they become a target of authoritarian persecution as well. But forget about the legal consequences of your action, I am fairly certain that cop killers universally become social and political pariahs throughout the mass media and local community.

If you are a person that “stands out” and express such radical views in public, eyewitnesses may report the conversation. The veracity of the report depends on their ability to recapitulate what they heard while simultaneously capturing the exact same diction, tone, and other nuance. Without such details, they might easily mince your finely chosen words and convey an entirely different message. Naturally, they would never be faulted for “misinterpreting” what was actually said.

Given enough such reports, even if you were never charged or even arrested in any past encounters, the “pattern of behavior” could be listed as probable cause for a search or arrest warrant. Worse, those events can be presented as a potential preponderance of evidence in civil cases, assisting with the coercion of unjust settlements.

After all the red flag laws utilize civil courts, so they can come to take your guns without even charging you with a crime! Most folks cannot afford lawyers to fight this process, so their guns may be gone without even a glimpse of due process (as those rights only apply in criminal cases). In this case, mortal citizens do not stand a chance against the machine.

Knowing all of this, would you really be all that surprised if vocal proponents of the second amendment start getting visits from red flag disarmament teams? Would they violently resist such a seizure as part of the first wave, if visited by a SWAT team after failing to comply with the order? Personally, I would like to say, “count me in”, but my honest answer to that is not as clear cut. Certainly, I do not think the one in three hundred seventeen will all make the same decision.

Would such resistance be spun in the media in a way that encourages or discourages others to do the same? Or perhaps as confirmation of the reason for disarming those individuals in the first place?

When this first pass is complete, they will come for the next batch, who previously expressed slightly less vehement resistance. Nevertheless, those folks are armed and still might kill the final round of citizen doorknockers. And so, it will go, wave after wave, until there is no one left that will stand in their way.

When the doorknockers of which you speak finally arrive, they will come dressed in patriotic red-white-and-blue shirts. By then, you will be deemed “crazy” to decline when they come to ask you to surrender your guns, so you will be forced to give them up. It will either be “for your own good” or “for the greater good of the nation”. Your choice.

Some might say that is already happening. Certainly, I expect a doorknocker will arrive at my house soon enough.

20. clark e myers says:

c4c –

21. Sean C. says:

You know what’s sad? That so much of the conversation about guns is about this kind of extreme scenario nonsense instead of concrete practical suggestions about limiting the harm caused by bad actors with rifles.

E.g:
– mandatory liability insurance
– public funding of practical firearm safety technologies
– how to deal with access to firearms by the mentally ill?
– even just the establishment of a set of cultural norms around access;
“Someone in your house on SSRI’s? Don’t give them the key to the gun safe.” and so on

1. >– mandatory liability insurance

No. The mandate would be abused in attempts to make firearms ownership too expensive to remain common. Actually not just “no” but “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on” no. Out here in gun-culture land we have developed a a pretty sensitive nose for “safety” regulation that is designed with the corrupt and anti-Constitutional purpose of suppressing civilian forearms ownership, and “mandatory insurance” stinks of this.

>– public funding of practical firearm safety technologies

Like what? Here’s a good general rule: until the police and military willingly adopt a “safety technology”, and it goes in use for at least 24 months without massive rejection by street cops and line grunts, I want no part of it. See also: corrupt purpose, above.

>– how to deal with access to firearms by the mentally ill?

Now there you are on to something. But it’s not us gunfolk that don’t want to talk about this, it’s the grabbers.

>– even just the establishment of a set of cultural norms around access;

These already exist. The fact that idiots sometimes fail to execute them very well is a separate issue, and a problem with any “cultural norm”.

1. Hudson H Luce says:

Obviously, if you think you need a gun, you’re “mentally ill” according to the grabbers, and shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. Catch-22. It’s one of the reasons I’m against more government involvement in health care now, having previously supported single-payer since 1989 – the doc (or his nurse) asks you if you have any guns in your house. Since it’s the government, all answers are given under penalty of perjury, so if you lie and you’ve ever been run through NICS or have filed a Form 4473, there’s probable cause for police to show up at your house and search. If they find any guns, you’re going down for “obstruction of justice” since it’s a federal crime to lie to a federal agent – in this case the doc or the nurse. If you say that you have guns, you’re “mentally ill”, they activate the red flag bit, and end up taking the guns. So you wind up with a federal charge and no guns, or designated as “mentally ill” – and no guns. Simple and easy.

1. TRX says:

> all answers are given under penalty of perjury,

If a sitting President testifying under oath could pick and choose his definitions of common words(*), then so can I.

“This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for war, this is for fun.”

(*) William Jefferson Clinton, Jan 26, 1998: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

1. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

Let’s give that Clintonian dissembling a try.

“I did not have a relationship with that weapon that resulted in any discharge”.

Yeah I know, schoolboy humor. Sue me :-)

2. Sean C. says:

And Q.E.D.

The response to an idea about harm reduction is quite literally “fuck you and the horse you rode in on”.

You people are so scared of slippery slopes and camel noses you spend all your time fantasizing about shooting fascists, and don’t spend any time trying to fix the damn problem.

1. Jade Nekotenshi says:

The issues with mandatory insurance are twofold. First, insurance doesn’t tend to cover the results of intentional, malicious misuse, which is what the archetypal rampage shooter falls under. It might have some minimal use in the case where someone leaves their gun unlocked and some poor kid gets hold of it and shoots themself in the leg or similar. The second part is “mandatory”. What happens if you don’t have insurance? If it’s like any of the other various gun-grabber proposals, if your insurance is one day expired, you’re looking at a felony conviction and a decade on probation and a hundred grand in fines, if not that same decade in maximum security. (And, no guns for you, ever again.) On top of that, the insurance company could jack up rates, knowing they have a captive audience, thus allowing the system to be used to price most gun owners out of the market. (The protection against that would be laws capping insurance premiums, but that destroys market mechanisms an would tend to drive insurers out of business – and at that point, if there’s no insurance but it’s still mandatory, guns are de facto illegal.)

Now, if the insurance mandate is more like car insurance, where not having it is a civil infraction with a penalty of a few hundred in fines, then the idea is a bit less objectionable, but I’d need some damn strong guarantees that the government *cannot* make failure to be insured a felony before I’d consider that an adequate trade.

2. Jay Maynard says:

I went looking, but couldn’t find Eric’s post about why we don’t trust “reasonable gun regulations”. But Lawdog’s blog post is a good one, too.

Come back to us when you have answers for “fix[ing] the damn problem” that don’t blame the tool for the hand that holds it.

1. Sean C. says:

Why should I? You don’t trust me. I’m sad that after having decided that all of my ideas have hidden agendas you don’t seem to have any of your own.

1. >Why should I? You don’t trust me. I’m sad that after having decided that all of my ideas have hidden agendas you don’t seem to have any of your own.

You’re overinterpreting. We don’t know that you aren’t individually trustworthy and aren’t asserting that. We know that activists who talk about gun policy the way you do have very often proven to be untrustworthy in the past.

Your animus shouldn’t be directed at us, the victims of their repeated betrayals. It should be directed at the people who poisoned this well, teaching us to be defensive and hostile and radicalized.

We do have ideas of our own. The mainstream media and most of the overculture doesn’t want to hear them, because none of our ideas advance their goal of rendering us disarmed and powerless.

1. Sean C. says:

I’m sorry, did I miss the blog post with your suggestions for how to fix public mass murder? Because the only gun control posts I recall are long the lines of “If you try to take our guns we’ll kill you all.”

I don’t have animus towards gun owners. I have sadness and a bit of frustration. You go on and on about how gun control advocates are (at best) ignorant and wrongheaded. And how gun owners are a superior class of responsible safety minded citizens who all take great care to learn to use their weapons for the greater good.

Well, if you folks put so much more time and effort into gun ownership, and if you’re so distrusting of other’s attempts to solve it, then I think reducing the harm becomes your responsibility. I think there are gun owners out here who feel that way. And have good ideas about how to make things better. But I just don’t hear anyone speaking that way.

1. >I’m sorry, did I miss the blog post with your suggestions for how to fix public mass murder?

Troutwaxer and I had a long discussion about it in comments.

The most important thing to get is that the problem of “public mass murder” epidemiologically splits into three categories of perps

One, accounting for more than 50% of mass shootings, is black gangbangers killing each other, like the one that seriously injured 22 people and killed one in New Jersey last weekend. Typical perp of this type – professional criminal on parole. Unusually light casualty list on this one, but that was by dumb luck.

The second type is Islamic terrorism. Fewer deaths by bullet than the black-on-black ones, but higher total lethality because bombs.

The third type is the one journalists love: crazy-white-people killings. Lowest casualty count, but most obsessively covered because one mustn’t be rude about the PC-protected, dear.

There used to be a fourth major category, domestic terrorism by whites, but it has been insignificant since the FBI busted up FALN in the early ’80s. The remaining “white” terror groups are so thoroughly infiltrated that no one in them can fart without a SAIC knowing.

The three active categories require different counterstrategies, but they all have one important thing in common: “gun control” can do nothing about any of them. There are too many weapons circulating out of official sight for this to be even remotely possible.

When we decide to end the black-on-black shootings, there’s a simple way to do it. Legalize drugs.

Since Obama left office we’re doing what’s necessary about the Islamists, which is to go where they think they’re safe in the Middle East and bomb the shit out of them until they’re all dead or demoralized.

The most effective thing we could do about crazy-white-people shootings is go back to committing a lot of people we now leave running around as outpatients pumped full of SSRIs or other antidepressant/antipsychotic drugs.

1. Sean C. says:

Well fine then. If that’s what you think is the right answer then I would politely request that you stop fantasizing about shooting people in some low odds hypothetical future and instead get to work on that drug legalization and involuntary in-patient treatment for the mentally ill.

Expect to find me agreeing with the former and disagreeing with the latter.

1. >stop fantasizing about shooting people in some low odds hypothetical future

What part of the sentence “The fact that we’re ready to do so if we have to does not mean we want that terrible day to arrive” was unclear? I don’t fantasize about shooting anybody. I wrote the OP to puncture other peoples’ fantasies that they can attempt confiscation without bringing a terrible reckoning on themselves.

>Expect to find me agreeing with the former and disagreeing [with involuntary in-patient treatment]

What makes you assume we disagree about this? I was just pointing out the trade-off. We can have a commitment system that is actually effective at taking nutcases of the streets, or we can have continued crazy-white-people shootings as a dramatic but relatively minor part of our violence problem. Choose one.

I didn’t tell you which I’d choose because my preference is irrelevant to the brutal fact of that tradeoff. And I’m not going to tell you now because you’d just be distracted by either choice I expressed.

2. Sean C. says:

I know you don’t actually want to shoot anyone, but this comment shows that you sure did put a lot of thought into it:
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8053&cpage=1#comment-1981866

I contend that thought is wasted time and effort, compared to doing the hard work of limiting the negative impact of gun ownership.

But it’s starting to seem that you don’t think these problems are worth your time.

3. Jay Maynard says:

So long as you complain about “the hard work of limiting the negative impact of gun ownership”, you reveal yourself as a gun grabber.

Free clue: A gun is an inanimate object, and is not responsible for anything. PEOPLE are responsible, solely, unequivocally, and totally. I refuse to concede that there is any benefit to restricting gun ownership and use because that places the focus of the effort on the wrong place, and fixing the wrong problem is worse than not attempting to fix the problem at all.

Get your damned mind off of the gun and onto the hand that holds it. When you do, I’ll be happy to help. Until then, you have a sworn enemy. There is no middle ground.

4. >Get your damned mind off of the gun and onto the hand that holds it. When you do, I’ll be happy to help. Until then, you have a sworn enemy. There is no middle ground.

Sigh…

He’s right, Sean. There isn’t any middle ground. Not any more. Too much bad faith, too many lies and betrayals from people who sounded exactly like you. I don’t think this is your fault, but it’s not Jay’s either.

I was a moderate on this issue, once.

5. Jay Maynard says:

For what it’s worth, Sean, I don’t doubt for a moment your heart is in the right place. Your concern is genuine, and you truly want to see the problem of mass killings solved. I get that.

As Eric says, though, we’ve been burned too many times, and even if you aren’t willingly or knowingly supporting those who wish to totally disarm Americans and are using the current “reasonable gun restrictions” push as a means to that end, that is the effect you are having, and it’s vital to the freedom of Americans that you be stopped.

2. Doctor Locketopus says:

> I’m sorry, did I miss the blog post with your suggestions for how to fix public mass murder?

Based strictly on the number of victims, disenfranchising (perhaps even jailing, exiling, or executing) anyone who adheres to or advocates leftist politics would help more than banning civilian ownership of guns.

I mean, given that we’re just going to ignore the Bill of Rights anyway.

You cool with that, bro?

3. >You people are so scared of slippery slopes and camel noses

Yes. Yes we are. From bitter experience.

1. Ian Argent says:

The history of gun control from at least the antebellum South and certainly from the Sullivan Act is one of racism and classism. “Those People Cannot Have Guns, Lest They Harm Their Betters.”

1. >The history of gun control from at least the antebellum South and certainly from the Sullivan Act is one of racism and classism. “Those People Cannot Have Guns, Lest They Harm Their Betters.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

2. Deep Lurker says:

A similar dynamic is why there’s so much gut-level opposition to various proposals for reducing vote fraud. The well-poisoning from Jim Crow era efforts to disenfranchise blacks still lingers.

I’ve made good use of the analogy in the past to explain things to those who “get” why literacy tests and poll taxes for voting are poison but who don’t understand the bitter opposition to ‘reasonable’ anti-gun measures.

1. Ian Argent says:

Proposal: It should be EXACTLY as hard to register to vote as to own a firearm. It should be exactly as hard to carry a firearm in public as to cast a vote.
(Tongue might be in cheek, but not very far)

1. Counterproposal: you should be required to show proof of gun ownership to vote. Flashing your IWB holster would do.

Tongue-slightly-more-in-cheek: If I buy a Barret .50 cal, the expensive one (say \$8,000 or so), can I vote more often than the guy who bought a derringer?

4. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

“You people are so scared of slippery slopes and camel noses you spend all your time fantasizing about shooting fascists, and don’t spend any time trying to fix the damn problem.

Concern trolling and virtue signaling noted.

2. Jay Maynard says:

“concrete practical suggestions” are nothing more than ways to shove the camel’s nose farther into the tent.

Gun owners don’t trust people advocating “common sense gun regulations”. We’ve had far too much experience with how giving an inch lets the gun grabbers take a mile.

Eric’s done a blog post on this before. I’m sure he’ll be along shortly with a link.

1. Winter says:

“Gun owners don’t trust people advocating “common sense gun regulations”.”

That is not limited to people advocating “common sense gun regulations”.

I understood that gun owners have so little trust in people that they think they need to be able to shoot people or else cannot live peacefully.
(I cannot help that this sounds insane)

1. Jay Maynard says:

We need to be able to defend ourselves, Winter. Nobody’s calling for just running around shooting people willy-nilly. But if someone attempts to use deadly force against me, I have the absolute right to defend myself using the most effective tools I can get.

It only sounds insane because you refuse to understand the issue and instead recast it in the mindset of a proper European subject of his monarch, who will take care of him from cradle to grave.

1. Winter says:

“We need to be able to defend ourselves, Winter.”

That was my point, you do not trust the people around you. A very large majority of people living in most of the civilized world do not feel the need for guns to defend themselves. Given murder rates in the civilized world, they really have no reason to change their minds.

1. That “don’t trust the people around you” applies both ways, you know. You don’t seem to trust the people around you to own firearms; you apparently believe that if they are allowed to do so, they’ll turn your neighborhood into a war zone, and your life won’t be safe. That seems kind of like believing that it’s only safe to encounter a dog if it’s been muzzled, and expecting all dogs to attack people at random.

1. Winter says:

one deranged person with a gun in a neighborhood of a thousand people can do enormous damage. I do trust my neighbors, and also almost all others in my city. However, once in a while, someone will lose his wits. Also, some people are careless or downright criminal and we are all better off when they do not have a gun. And we have a civilized police force to protect us when they do have a gun at the wrong time.

Trust is not all or nothing. That is a false dichotomy.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> one deranged person with a gun in a neighborhood of a thousand people can do enormous damage.

Not as many as a leftist government. Not by orders of magnitude.

Tell you what: when the death toll from “one deranged person with a gun” in the U.S. surpasses the death toll from “leftist governments” in Europe, then we’ll consider giving up our guns. Not before.

2. Your argument seems to lack symmetry. You offer the risk of one deranged person with a gun murdering other people as a justification for having a police force. But you do not consider that the risk of that one deranged person might be a reason that ordinary citizens might want (or need) to own firearms; instead you describe such ordinary citizens as having a paranoid fear of all their neighbors, and a lack of trust of human beings in general. That you find one argument plausible and don’t even seem to think of the other suggests cultural and ideological bias.

3. BassmanCO says:

When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Tell me again how the police are going to protect me when I need them?

1. Winter says:

We have less than a fifth of your murder rate. With all their guns, Americans are much less safe than our people.

1. Yes, and that can be read just as well as an argument that because there are so many more armed murderers around, American civilians have a much greater need to be armed, and it’s much less safe for them to count on the police to save them.

But I’d also note that the United States has a level of freedom that European countries mostly don’t even imagine. Here in the United States, for example, you can publicly assert that the Holocaust never took place, and not face legal penalties; quite a number of European countries treat this as a crime. We are freer as a society. And there are many people who attribute this to a deterrent effect of widespread firearm ownership on government—a belief that gains credibility from the fact that the part of the American political spectrum that looks enviously at European or Canadian repression also largely opposes firearm ownership.

2. BassmanCO says:

Are you counting your bogus European statistics, where a murder doesn’t count until the case is solved? Can you ever argue in good faith or do you always move the goalposts to suit you (rhetorical question)?

2. Darrencardinal says:

Trust but verify Winter.

Trust but verify.

1. Winter says:

And you need a gun for that?

1. Jay Maynard says:

Do you need a fire extinguisher because you don’t trust your curtains not to spontaneously catch fire and burn down your house?

I trust my fellow citizens, in general. But when they abuse that trust – as a small minority will, without question – then I will be prepared to deal with that, too.

3. strongpoint says:

“That was my point, you do not trust the people around you.”

Well, we’ve only got the entirety of recorded human history to serve as a guide there.

As I read recently: “As long as there are rocks, Cain will kill Abel.”

4. Kurt B. says:

The one who has no trust is you. You do not trust the people around you, so you do not want them to own dangerous objects. Most probably, this comes from lacking trust in your own character, which you transfer unto others. Learn to trust yourself, and extend that trust to others, and your fears will go away, as will your need for control by the state.

2. Ever-So-Slightly-Upset Max says:

Winter: “I understood that gun owners have so little trust in people that they think they need to be able to shoot people or else cannot live peacefully. (I cannot help that this sounds insane).”

You’re right, you can’t help how it sounds.

3. albatross says:

For at least some subset of people, the best way to understand how gun owners feel about these issues is to imagine a proposal for some common-sense limits on free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. Though sadly, it’s becoming more and more common to see people who think that’s negotiable, too. (Mainly, this is people who are irrationally convinced that their side will always have the whip hand in regulating unacceptable speech. I wish they could get what they deserve without me getting it, too.)

1. Most of the world has exactly those “common-sense limits.” I’ve edited a book by a Canadian legal scholar who took it for granted that of course there had to be a way to reconcile freedom of speech with forcibly preventing people from saying bad things about various minorities. I’m not sure if there’s any other country that even approaches the American idea that freedom of speech means you can say what you like. For that matter I’m not sure that more than a bare majority of the American Supreme Court take that idea seriously.

1. I was discussing this topic with a leftist the other day. One of her big claims was “Gosh, people always say we are the greatest country on earth, but look at all the ways in which we aren’t!” And she had a list of rankings in her head — not entirely inaccurate — our schools aren’t number 1, our manufacturing isn’t number 1, our life expectancy isn’t number 1, our crime rates aren’t number 1…

Fair enough.

We’re number one according to the values that matter most to me. Liberty, protection of fundamental rights including the right to free speech and self-defense, economic freedom. Are we perfect at any single one of those? Probably not. But our combination — particularly the relatively high degrees of freedom we have in otherwise unpopular areas like speech and self-defense — adds up to being number 1 on the list of places I choose to live, precisely because I place a high value on certain unpopular freedoms.

1. It’s kind of curious how multiculturalists who value respect for every human culture and cherish human diversity never seem to think that the distinctiveness of the United States is a precious bit of human variability that ought to be preserved. Instead they often seem to think it’s vital that the United States should be stamped into the mold of other industrialized nations. “No, but we will have a king, and be like all the nations.”

2. Ian Argent says:

In my political lifetime, SCOTUS has been extremely liberal in interpreting the protections of the First Amendment. They do now and have for a while taken the 1A very seriously, and not by slim margins.

2. Deep Lurker says:

Or common-sense limits on voting rights. Or the way the pro-life side keeps trying to erode abortion.

I was reading a blog discussion, a while back, about how European countries often have stricter limits on abortion than the US. I might have endorsed some of those limits myself – except for the way the commenters were rubbing their virtual hands with glee about using those limits as a waypoint toward a total ban on abortion.

1. perlhaqr says:

It won’t work. I’ve tried it.

“OK, all you folks who are really really serious about Abortion rights, lemme try and explain how I feel about guns.”

I was told that I was the enemy, that I must be destroyed, and that there could be no compromise or even empathy.

And this was from people I’m notionally friends with. So I don’t think you’re going to have much luck with that tactic.

4. 0352 says:

Sean, WTFO?

22. Jim says:

640 KC and 1040 KC :P

1. And as Erin Palette has said, Pink Pistols exist not because gun-owner groups are hostile to LGBT folks (they’re generally welcoming), but because political gay organizations are hostile to gun-ownership rights.

23. Mark Matis says:

When they start, their spouses are fair targets. Kill them first. See what happens to confiscation.

Or do you intend to wait in your home for them to show up at 2 AM wearing body armor and carrying full auto weapons and tear gas?

1. Ian Bruene says:

Actually no, they wouldn’t be: one of the most basic tenets of our culture is that the person responsible is the one who is punished. Or in older language: “the sons shall not be put to death for the fathers”.

If you want to burn a core cultural precept be my guest, but don’t be surprised when the rest die as well. Like the one about not killing you and taking your wife and daughters for sex slaves.

1. Mark Matis says:

I hate to break this to you, but they ALREADY kill you. And your wife. And your daughters. With impunity. And their spouses know full well what they are, yet they cheer them on anyway.

When their spouse has to worry whether the doorbell is an evangelist trying to save her soul, or the Angel of Death come to send her to hell, things will change. When she can’t be sure whether the minor fender bender was a result of her distracted driving, or her final stop on the Highway to Hell, that will realign the dinner conversation about the appropriateness of a career in “Law Enforcement”. Once the pig sties empty out, there will be no gun confiscation

24. albatross says:

To put some numbers on the categories of firearms deaths, This post on 538 has a nice summary of one year’s firearm deaths. That was:

a. 21,058 suicides
b. 11,726 homicides
c. 546 accidents
d. 269 undetermined

The suicides are mostly white men, and are often older white men. The homicides are mostly young black men. The homicides are mostly garden-variety crime and domestic violence–mass shootings are a really small subset of the homicides.

Anything you do to reduce accidents has a small impact on the total number of firearms deaths–probably because everyone already knows guns are dangerous and so most people are pretty careful about (for example) not letting small children play with them, not treating them like toys or jokes, etc. Trying to cut back on firearms deaths by preventing accidents is a bit like trying to balance the federal budget by cutting foreign aid and welfare–it’s not enough to make much of a difference.

The biggest piece here is suicide. If nobody had access to a loaded gun, then probably there would be fewer suicides, since it doesn’t take a whole lot of careful thought to figure out how to kill yourself with a gun. Presumably many but not all those suicides would just find another method. (So if you’re inclined toward depression or suicidal thoughts, you should probably get rid of your guns or at least not store any ammo at home.)

1. Ian Argent says:

I just stumbled across a comparison of Australian (gun) death rates to New Zealand (gun) death rates (and also US ones for grins). All three had basically the same rate of decline (though the US one was steeper) since australia’s stricter laws came into force, the US continued to relax, and NZ stayed about the same.

Suicide rates in Australia were mostly unaffected.

2. 0352 says:

And more that 33,000 people die every year in vehicle accidents. So, I guess we should prohibit trucks and automobiles

3. William O. B'Livion says:

Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug
On 26 reds and a bottle of wine
–Jim Carrol Band.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/560161/distribution-of-us-suicide-deaths-by-method/

> The suicides are mostly white men, and are often older white men.

Suicides are mostly white men in their 30s and 40s. It falls off as they age.

People generally pick the form of suicide that matches their goals.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm

When you are crying for help you pick a less painful, slower form of suicide in a place where you are likely to be found. You cut across your wrists etc. Most of us have been to college and have seen stuff like this. Especially when Goth was a big thing.

But when you want out, you get out.

A friend of my fathers–a doctor–sent his wife out shopping, took a couple handful of aspirin washed down with whiskey, then climbed into a bathtub full of hot water and opened both femoral arteries (down, not across) and the one on his left wrist. Cleanup was minimal.

Another friend of mine–a police officer–notice this car in a overgrown lot that had been there for a few days, and decided to have a look. As he got closer he noticed an odd dimple on the roof. That was the exit hole formed when the driver put a gun under his chin and pulled the trigger. Seems his wife had thrown him over for another man, and his life was crashing. Allegedly when she was told her response did not include remorse.

It is unlikely that a significant number of those suicides will be prevented. They will take different forms, but until you deal with the underlying pathologies you’re still going to get people trying to kill themselves.

1. I was struggling with depression all my life and yet never understood suicide. Depression typically means something along the lines of struggling with low self-worth, at least the cognitive therapy addresses that and seems to work. Wanting out sounds like admitting that defeat, while there is a sense of self-respect and basic pride gleaned from at least staying in and fighting on. I don’t know. You can’t just explain it with depression. It takes a kind of personality and mindset that I cannot simply comprehend. One may feel like there will be no more fun in life but how does one feel like there is no more duty and mission.

Surely it is not guns, of course – Japan needs no guns to have a high rate of suicide. But it takes a mindset I cannot really understand. It is surrender.

25. Enforcer says:

We already have a plan to collect guns the same way we collect taxes

1. simmerjet says:

We can only hope, the underground economy is robust!

26. TomA says:

Gun confiscation in the USA would be a clear trigger for rebellion and revolution, and that’s it’s most salient significance. Modeling suggests that militia-based opposition to tyranny will fade rather quickly and be replaced by other tactics aimed at undermining the strengths of the tyrannical bureaucracy. In such a future conflict, computer acumen will far outstrip marksmanship. You want to keep the firearms handy in order to protect yourself and your home, but the actual rebellion will be fought with electrons.

27. simmerjet says:

I live in Gun country North Idaho. There is no way to even entertain the discussion without waiting for the punchline.
99% of State and local Law enforcement from Idaho and Montana will side with the people, that is common knowledge in this part of the Country. That means not only their numbers, But all their resources too… We are to the 2A What California is to illegal aliens. Only the feds would have a much harder time setting up shop because they would have to bring all their own fuel, food, and accommodations, and find someplace to secure it. Forget using the military bases against the citizens..the local civilians working on base are not liberals, and that will show.

1. Mark Matis says:

I would hope that you do not include the “Law Enforcement” in Council, Idaho, among those “good cops”. As well as any agency that’s within an hour’s drive from the Idaho Criminal Intelligence Center on 700 S Stratford Drive in Ada, Idaho. That’s your DHS Fusion Center where your local “Law Enforcement” sit elbow-to-elbow with their FedPig Brothers in Blue, swilling coffee, sucking donuts, and doing WHATEVER they are told.

Never forget that “Law Enforcement” does not have to tell the truth to Mere Citizens.

28. Jacob says:

I live back in the woods, you see
My woman and the kids, and the dogs, and me
I got a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive.
Because you can’t starve us out and you can’t make us run
‘Cause we’re them old boys raised on shotguns
We say grace, and we say ma’am
If you ain’t into that, we don’t give a damn

29. Garry F. Owen, Trooper says:

I am with you, however, I believe that given human nature that when it comes down to it, less people than we would hope will do the right thing. As I’ve observed people in less critical situations, most fold in order to avoid conflict. I believe that the 3% solution is about right. A good number of people you know will not be with you when the time comes. More than you will want to believe will turn Quisling. Don’t neglect this critical factor in your reckoning.

1. Shinmen Takezo says:

These are two happy freakin’ stories!
You should write more shorts like these–all different, from different people’s point of view about the same time period… and compile them into a short novel.

This would be fun to read.

30. Jocko says:

Why is the formatting on these comments so fucked up? I’d love to read them but this stupid format makes it exceedingly annoying.

31. Shinmen Takezo says:

Door to door confiscation?
Yeah–right!

Okay, this is the leftist wet-dream.
But look at the numbers and forget anything about NRA membership.
Completely irrelevant.

III% of the population would rise up in arms and use force to stop it.
That’s 3% of 350 million which is… 10.5 million (10,500,000) men, women etc (FREEFOR)

What does THUGFOR (the confiscators) have at their disposal… 2,000,000 million.

That’s 2 million uniformed solders, LEO and alpha-bet agents of all types (Federal, state, local and so forth)… and that assuming they are all on the plan and willing to kick down doors (which will not be the case at all).

I estimate 34 to 55 percent desertion and outright refusal rates.

But let’s go with the 2 million on the plan number, okay?!

I think that 10.5 million beats 2 million any day of the week, no matter how many force multipliers THUGFOR employs–and hopefully they will because when they do so, that III% number will swell to 5% to 8.5% when the levers of tyranny are fully pulled.

I would like to see the faces of the leftists when they are being crushed into goo.
I imagine the end will look like the end of the Spanish Civil War in the 30’s (look that one up).

Bring it all on please.

1. III% of the population would rise up in arms and use force to stop it.
That’s 3% of 350 million which is… 10.5 million (10,500,000) men, women etc (FREEFOR) What does THUGFOR (the confiscators) have at their disposal… 2,000,000 million.

Looks to me like you have a couple of typos there.

32. Enforcer says:

“You see John, any action against the throne must be punished ruthlessly, for that is the only way to maintain the absolute power of a King.”

33. Oldreguy says:

“…shut down the telephone and internet systems…”
When all else fails ….Amateur Radio.
And for every ham there are 2 or 3 scanner users listening.

1. Jay Maynard says:

There are many reasons I keep my license active and (looking over to my right) 8 handheld 2-meter and 440 MHz radios. (Well, mostly because I’m a geek; 6 of those radios are either D-STAR or DMR-capable, though they work just fine on analog FM, too.) This does crank into my thinking.

34. FaCubeItches says:

Is confiscation really that big an issue, though. There have been people living under far more oppressive governments than that in the US who had guns (USSR, Iraq, for example) and yet did not ever use them; thus, for the Soviets and Baathists, confiscaiton was unnecessary. A cowed population can be armed to the teeth, but it doesn’t matter, because they won’t use them.

1. >Is confiscation really that big an issue, though.

It’s an issue as long as politicians, celebrities, and journalists are advocating it. It will cease to be an issue only when advocating it is as taboo as advocating putting Jews in gas chambers.

>A cowed population can be armed to the teeth, but it doesn’t matter, because they won’t use them.

So, yes. We need to encourage a culture in which people are both armed and not cowed. We have to work on both things, we can’t say one isn’t an issue because we’re not sure we have the other.

35. jon spencer says:

Look at how few IRA and UL members during “The Troubles” that actually carried weapons to use and the force needed to oppose those to even come to a stalemate.

36. Paraclete says:

The Patriot Movement is large, and has been growing at a fast pace
over the last 25 years.
This topic has been debated and discussed to the enth degree.
Simply put, once the PTB makes any kind of move, the cat is out of the bag.
Yes, no one wants to be the first man either down, or the one to take action.
But that’s all it will take. With the level of corruption which we all know exists, at all levels,
and seats, of power. People are patiently waiting for the enemies of our Republic to make
their “false” move towards what they believe would be their ultimate power grab.
That would be their last move.
The American hunter out numbers all the standing armies of the world. (combined)
This is before Patriot servicemen are counted in the equation.
So, no number of any enemy would live out the experience.
There would only be a rumor of their demise.
There is more arms and support materials squirreled away than anyone could ever imagine. The enemies march would be straight up hill which would lead to a cliff…
They’d never make it out alive. Nam would pale in
contrast with what’s about to occur in this Republic. It’s not an “if” anymore…it a “when”.

37. TimeHasCome says:

I have no fear from law enforcement because 95% of all Sheriff’s are elected and they will do no bidding against the majority of voters .Also law enforcement are experts at very close quarters . But the hunters are trained at 70 meters or more , so their is a distinct advantage to the citizens. But if the military were deployed American gun owners would fold like a K Mart lawn chair . I live near a huge Army base and when they have live fire drills the earth and sky shakes . The Apache helicopters fly low by my home along with the Chinooks at 300 feet . You feel like a piss ant in their wake .

1. >when they have live fire drills the earth and sky shakes

They can’t use that kind of power in house-to-house searches. It’s expensive and the area-effect weapons make a high risk of fragging your own troops.

1. More importantly for this conversation, I think, if they chose to do it it would constitute the declaration of an open civil war. They’d get the first house (and likely all the neighbors). But after that, it’s not “We’re friendly people here to confiscate your arms for your own safety”, it’s war.

2. redacted for work reasons says:

There’s just not that much American military. Okay, so Ft. Hood, TX can completely dominate Waco (and that’s assuming a large percentage of the troops don’t mutiny or desert with their weapons at the first opportunity, which is a poor assumption for the time being). Then what? After what amounts to an open declaration of war, how long before they run out of JP-8 and munitions? Anyone who thinks that after this open declaration of war upon a large part of the American people (that very part that actually supplies a majority of the volunteer enlistees and officers) that National Guard armories wouldn’t suddenly be found to be a major source of, if not first-line then the last generation of missiles and heavy weapons, well, you don’t know the kind of people who volunteer for that. It would take one hell of a propaganda campaign (conducted with no outside information leaking in — yeah, right) to convince them that attacking fellow citizens because they refuse to give up their firearms is a just war. Even assuming the best (from the statist viewpoint), there’s no damned way there’s enough precision munitions in the inventory to do what it would take to “pacify” an enraged populace. And not enough artillery or aircraft to deliver the dumb munitions to slaughter enough indiscriminately to squelch resistance. Especially when so many of the enraged populace are ex-military and know what the weaknesses are and how to go after them…

1. redacted for work reasons says:

Dammit. I ran out of time editing that post because I thought of good point, but I’m exhausted and going to bed rather than trying to rewrite it. There’s a sentence in previous post that lost some words, and is difficult to follow. Sorry.

2. Kurt Schlichter described this in some detail:

For example, how do a bunch of hunters in Wisconsin defeat a company of M1A2 Abrams tanks? They ambush the fuel and ammo trucks. Oh, and they wait until the gunner pops the hatch to take a leak and put a .30-06 round in his back from 300 meters. Then they disappear. What do the tanks do then? Go level the nearest town? Great. Now they just moved the needle in favor of the insurgents among the population. Pretty soon, they can’t be outside of their armored vehicles in public. Their forces are spending 90% of their efforts not on actual counter-insurgency operations but on force protection. Sure, they own their forward operating bases, and they own a few hundred meters around them wherever they happen to be standing at the moment, but the rest of the territory is bright red.

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/03/12/why-democrats-would-lose-the-second-civil-war-too-n2459833

The Army doesn’t have enough combat brigades (probably by a factor of ten) to execute a conventional takeover of American soil.

3. Dan says:

“…Also law enforcement are experts at very close quarters…”

Not true at all. Overwhelmingly, rank-and-file LEOs are quite poorly trained. The better ones seek external training out of their own pockets.

1. >The better [LEOs] seek external training out of their own pockets.

Some of them do it at my kung-fu school.

4. William O. B'Livion says:

> Also law enforcement are experts at very close quarters.

The vast majority of “Law Enforcement” can barely pass fairly simple qualification tests. My *wife* can do better.

> But the hunters are trained at 70 meters or more ,

Ah, now THERE is a tell.

> But if the military were deployed American gun owners would fold like a
> K Mart lawn chair .

Are you familiar with “Afghanistan”? “Iraq”? “Vietnam”? Or dozens of other insurgencies/wars around the world where “civilians” battered rather large militaries?

> I live near a huge Army base and when they have live fire drills the earth
> and sky shakes . The Apache helicopters fly low by my home along with
> the Chinooks at 300 feet . You feel like a piss ant in their wake .

You know what they call someone who served in the military and is now out?

“Civilian”.

38. K norb says:

My war was 1964 to 1975 and those of us still around are long in the tooth. But the number of CIBs walking around today from the sand box wars has to be 3xs my generation. Any attempt to disarm the U.S. would be suisde. Remember these vets were trained in house to house/ room clearing tactics. The Door kicking idea is a fantasy.

39. Anonymous says:

In Connecticut in 2014 gun owners were willing to resist door-to-door registration. I take this to mean gun owners in large numbers have already proven willing to resist door-to-door confiscation.

Instead, how about a web site with anonymous signups like the free state projects had. If one million signups are collected in two months, signers commit themselves to removing all the automobile license plates in the US. Two months gives people enough time to separate from family members who will tell them ‘don’t make trouble’ all the way into the boxcar.

Non-signers are not neutral. Their compliance in retaining a license plate highlights those plateless cars whose drivers do not wish to be labeled and tracked. This gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

I am not overly concerned about libertarians damaging the automotive property of others. On Lexington Green, the British traitors created life-threatening collateral damage with their stray bullets impacting buildings surrounding the green. Collateral damage is part of war, and believing self-defense can be done without collateral damage is fantasy.

1. >n Connecticut in 2014 gun owners were willing to resist door-to-door registration. I take this to mean gun owners in large numbers have already proven willing to resist door-to-door confiscation.

Thank you, that is exactly the costly signal I was inquiring about above, especially given how blue Connecticut is: https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/connecticut

1. >Thank you, that is exactly the costly signal I was inquiring about

You want to talk costly signals? Turns out American civilians probably own 40% of the firearms in the known universe. And these things are not cheap.

Me, I’m disappointed. What is wrong with us that we haven’t cracked 50% yet? :-)

Clearly I must buy more guns.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

My next three purchases (based on current desires) are a 20 gauge semi-auto shotgun (so the wife can use it too), a SBR in .300 blackout, and then maybe a Sig P229.

1. Jay Maynard says:

I’ve been wondering about .300 Blackout, myself. How’s it compare to 5.56 NATO? And how much of a stock AR-15 do you have to replace? Mags, barrel, …? How expensive is the ammo?

1. JimR says:

Just the barrel, the case is basically a blown out 5.56×45. Though you might have to tinker with the gas system block and buffer depending on ammo. Which is of course more expensive than 5.56×45 surplus or even commercial, but it’s not bad. Luckygunner has 150gr Fiocci for \$279 for 500 ads.

It’s a fun round, but unless you are suppressing it, it’s not really much of an improvement over 5.56 except that you can legally take deer and other medium game with it in most states. Not much good beyond 200 meters from what I’ve heard though.

2. cdb says:

You won’t regret the .300 BLK, especially if you get (or have) a suppressor to go along with it. Hearing nothing but the ka-chunk of the BCG cycling and the reverberating whiz of 220 grain slugs as they ricochet off through the woods… something about it just plasters a giant grin on your face.

40. kjj says:

I feel like I should plug Project Appleseed here. Look them up. I think they are all volunteers who teach a modestly priced, excellent 2-day course on history and marksmanship. Learn how to hit redcoats at 300 yards with iron sights and listen to a dramatic retelling of Lexington and Concord, plus the aftermath during the breaks.

Plus, membership in their organization, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association, counts as a marksmanship program for CMP purchases. Not that CMP has any inventory these days, but maybe those rifles in Korea will come home some day…

41. Chris says:

Which is why they will try to put manufacturers and retailers out of business first. Slowly though taxes and regs. How many of us are going show up and kill some fed lawyer tying a business’ up with red tape?

“Here’s a little idea I’ve been working on. Why don’t we shoot them first?” –Jayne Cobb

1. >Slowly though taxes and regs.

“Slowly” is the problem, from their point of view. The legal and public-opinion environment is trending strongly against them – you can measure this by the steady increase in percentage of consitutional-carry and shall-issue jurisdictions in the U.S.

Heller is a serious blocker at Federal level; all it would take is one SCOTUS ruling on chilling effects to scuttle that entire line of attack. The grabbers can’t risk that for the same reason NRA wouldn’t back the Heller lawsuit and SAF had to step up. Downside risk was judged too high.

The grabbers are evil, but they’re not entirely stupid. We can deduce that they don’t think such a regulation-first anaconda strategy will work from the fact that they’re not seriously trying it. The canary in this coal mine would be a Federal excise tax on ammunition – but you don’t even hear proposals about this.

They clearly think the only way they can suppress civilian firearms is through culture, by exploiting media hype around white-on-white shootings so that gun ownership is denormalized upstream of law and politics, then passing laws. I agree; that’s what I’d be trying if I were evil, too.

(Why do I say “white-on-white”? Because there’s not even any effort going on to exploit incidents like the Jersey Arts Festival shooting to gin up popular outrage, let alone the astronomically higher rate of “ordinary” black-on-black drug-trade shootings. My guess is they don’t want anybody thinking too hard about the fact that the incidence of white-on-white gun violence is less than a quarter that of black-on-black incidence, despite whites outnumbering blacks 6:1)

1. Deep Lurker says:

There’s already the Pittman-Robertson Federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition. The canary in the coal mine would be either trying to raise the tax rate (currently 10-11%) or to divert money away from the current wildlife & hunting earmarks.

1. OldCurmudgeon says:

> divert money away

No need. It will have a pro-sporting spin e.g., a conservation sticker that will be used to fund local enforcement efforts. They just need to increase the cost of the sport.

1. >They just need to increase the cost of the sport.

Oh, that’s really smart. Yeah, drop a hefty Pigouvian tax on the problem. Give the gun culture an incentive strong enough to build gray markets and smuggling networks to evade the taxes. Encourage distributed small-scale ammunition manufacturing that you can’t track. Were you freaking asleep while 3D printing and tabletop CNC milling machines were becoming a thing?

Now you have a nastier enforcement problem than you started with, and a more hostile gun culture. I’m sure that’s exactly what you wanted, yes?

2. William O. B'Livion says:

The thing is that for most *hunters* even doubling the cost of ammo wouldn’t hurt much–they just don’t shoot much.

The people it would hurt are folks like me who don’t hunt because, to paraphrase the philosopher Ron White, it’s cold, it’s early, and I donwanna.

When my wife and I go to the range we might go through 200 to 300 rounds in an hour. That’s 100 years for most deer hunters (different caliber though).

If taxes went up that much I’d start reloading. It would be worth it.

1. Jay Maynard says:

If they did that, they’d tax primers, too.

2. Greg says:

They’re still salami slicing. They’re always salami slicing.

There have been a few recent examples of virtue signalling banks refusing to handle gun related transactions, or do business with gun related firms at all.

This is something to watch for.

42. Patri friedman says:

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the novel “Unintended Consequences”, which is a fictional treatment of this scenario, cleverly interspersed with motivating historical anecdotes like the Warsaw ghetto. I don’t think it is very realistic, much too biased to the actions of a heroic protagonist. However, it makes for enjoyable and inspiring reading.

There is something so comforting and relaxing for me, in a world of liberal media exploring fantasies that are not mine, providing “escapism” to places I wouldn’t want to go, about a book like this. And I am proud to live on a country where a book advocating armed rebellion in a near future gun control scenario is completely legal.

1. >I’m surprised no one has mentioned the novel “Unintended Consequences”

I have. It is an enjoyable book.

43. uma says:

The way to “confiscate” is to pass a federal law that makes gun owners (and only gun owners) bare the costs of all the problems and side effects resulting from the ocean of guns we are drowning in. All the metal detectors, the 17 guards every school needs, the law enforcement costs would only be borne by gun owners. These costs should not be socialized and it is easy to make that case to the American people. Do this and 90% of the problem will go away.

1. >the costs of all the problems and side effects resulting from the ocean of guns we are drowning in.

None of the problems you cite result from this ocean of guns, because those problems are not caused by guns.

This would be obvious to you if you spent three seconds thinking rather than duckspeaking. Guns have no agency; only the people who use them do.

2. Jay Maynard says:

Ah, the standard left-wing ruse: pull numbers out of thin air to assign as “costs” of whatever they oppose, then try to use those “costs” to tax something out of existence.

We’re on to you, bub. Any attempt to do such a thing will be treated the same as an outright ban – because that’s what it is, under the covers.

3. Troutwaxer says:

Even as the local “Liberal” I have to object to that plan. The “need” for guards and metal detectors is not related to guns, but to panic. There have been something like 30-40 deaths by “school shooting” in the past year. Compare that to the 500,000 deaths by heart attack, or even the 7600 deaths every year due to people taking the wrong over-the-counter pain reliever… You child’s chance of being gunned down at a high-school are pretty minimal.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Careful, Troutwaxer. Talking like that will get you read out of leftist polite society. Don’t you know that mass shootings are a crisis that must not be wasted?

1. Troutwaxer says:

The truth of the matter is that I’m more “reality-based” than leftist, and I hate any kind of public policy that looks like it evolved out of panic.

2. clark e myers says:

Chances of a child being gunned down at a high-school are strongly determined by the health of the high school.

Folks in Littleton strongly objected to identifying – an accident of zip code and byline – Columbine located in unincorporated Jefferson County with Littleton located in Littleton the county seat of Arapaho County.

Columbine was new school with a student body that had mostly just moved there – full of misfits [though not entirely with a nod to personal connections] in both the student body and the staff.

The multitude of failures in both policy and application that preceded the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School have been well publicized. Such failures need not but probably will happen across a number of schools but again most assuredly not at any school around here.

Utah can educate its students pretty well for circa \$5K a head. DC can’t educate its students for \$25K a head – there are many differences between schools around here and Chicago.

4. Ian Bruene says:

Somewhere in Alabama….

A radio is tuned to the news as a reporter is finishing talking about the new 1000000000% tax on ammunition

Billy: “Timmy, I ain’t nev’r thurt urf that idea. Y’all ever heard that before?”

Timmy: “Naw I ain’t never did Billuh, shore is a high falutin way o’ goin ’bout things. Wonder why tey tax em so high?”

Billy: “Dint y’all gotta go pick up your new hood from the lodge today?”

Timmy: “Dang nabbit I did! Y’all mind watchin’ that Jane don’t break outa thu kitchen while I’z gone? She’s been awful ornery since her eith baby.”

Billy: “Shore don’t Timmy.”

Timmy leaves in his dilapidated pickup beer in hand

Unfortunately for Timmy he never made it to the lodge. Earlier that day a shot had been fired at the state capitol building, and in retaliation the state of Alabama was subjected to nuclear carpet bombing.

1. BassmanCO says:

And you liberals accuse us of grandiose wet dreams. Keep trying though.

1. >And you liberals accuse us of grandiose wet dreams. Keep trying though.

LOL. You don’t process Ian’s humor very well, clearly.

1. Dan says:

It missed me too.

It read very much like something some pretentious hipsters would guffaw over at Buzzfeed.

*shrug*

2. Ian Bruene says:

I graduated suma cum laude from STFU, the finest Poesian legal education that sarcasm can buy.

1. BassmanCO says:

If that was sarcasm, I take back my comment. Although I have seen enough ramblings like that that were actual beliefs that it is difficult to distinguish from sarcasm and personal thoughts. Kind of like reading an Onion article and realizing it could have been in the NY Times.

2. Dan says:

Never go full retard

44. Troutwaxer says:

Eric, you’ve woven an interesting fantasy. However, a serious attempt to confiscate all guns is highly unlikely. As you’ve noted, the trend is against this possibility, and there are too many people willing to shoot Feds should something like this get started. Essentially, the NRA has locked this possibility so far outside the Overton window that I simply can’t imagine it happening in my lifetime. It would take a political explosion of unprecedented magnitude to change things. On the Democratic blogs I follow the sane folks are talking about giving up on gun control as a policy issue! Politically speaking, you’ve won overwhelmingly, to the point where believing that anyone will go door-to-door collecting guns is probably a good clinical indicator of paranoia!

However, in the event this highly-unlikely event were to happen somehow, I think you’re missing some key points:

1.) The warrant to seize anyone’s guns will be a no-knock warrant. Don’t expect the SWAT teams at 3:00 p.m. Expect them at 3:00 a.m., starting with a volley of flash-bang grenades through your window. This will be “Brazil” not Dragnet. Or you and Cathy might just come home and discover that all the guns are gone.

2.) You don’t win a fight like this defensively. Waiting until the Feds are inside your house is exactly how you lose this fight. ‘Nuf said, I think, keeping in mind the enormous, gigantic unlikelihood of this event ever happening.

3.) Remember that taking out the tactical vehicle is every bit as important as taking out the people. Use your highest-caliber gun to put a couple rounds through the engine block of everything they bring, from police cars to the SWAT van. If you win the fight, spend a couple minutes with a gas can making sure the vehicles can’t be recovered. (Thugs are cheap, vehicles are expensive.)

4.) If you are seriously concerned about this or similar issues, read John Robb’s blog from the very earliest post and also read his book.

5.) Consider some of the more likely political scenarios. One of them was hinted at up above; the tendency to take what should be “criminal” issues to the “civil” courts, where the standard of proof is “preponderance of evidence” not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is how asset forfeiture works, and I have no doubt that if you and Cathy came home and discovered that your guns were gone the issue would be fought in a civil court with the charges against “Walther P-38, Serial Number XY23442342” rather than against “Eric and Cathy Raymond.” You’d have to get permission from the judge merely to take part in the court case, because it wouldn’t be filed against you. This is one of the major areas where liberty is eroding, and someone needs to do something about it!

1. Jay Maynard says:

For some reason, WordPress is eating my comments…

However, a serious attempt to confiscate all guns is highly unlikely. As you’ve noted, the trend is against this possibility, and there are too many people willing to shoot Feds should something like this get started. Essentially, the NRA has locked this possibility so far outside the Overton window that I simply can’t imagine it happening in my lifetime. It would take a political explosion of unprecedented magnitude to change things.

As the religious would say, “from your mouth to God’s ears”. Still, part of the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

On the Democratic blogs I follow the sane folks are talking about giving up on gun control as a policy issue!

Perhaps, but if they do, they risk turning off all those kids who are currently pushing for gun confiscation. I agree it would be the sane thing for them to do, as it was after 1994…but I doubt the collective sanity of the soi-disant “progressives”, and they’re ascendant in Democrat politics.

Politically speaking, you’ve won overwhelmingly, to the point where believing that anyone will go door-to-door collecting guns is probably a good clinical indicator of paranoia!

There’s a difference between believing they will actually do so and being prepared for the eventuality.

1. Doctor Locketopus says:

> Perhaps, but if they do, they risk turning off all those kids who are currently pushing for gun confiscation.

There aren’t nearly as many of those kids as you’d think from the amount of noise they’re making.

Plus, it’s amazing how easy it is to get kids to “support a cause” if their teachers are offering a free day off from school in exchange.

1. Jay Maynard says:

“There aren’t nearly as many of those kids as you’d think from the amount of noise they’re making.”

You’re probably right. But even so, for the Democrats to just throw them under the bus like that would not be good optics…

1. Mark Langsdorf says:

The Democrats threw Cindy Sheehan under the bus as soon as Obama won. She continued her protests against the new administration, and the media failed to cover them. When she complained about that, she didn’t get any coverage of that either.

What makes you think the current set of teens would get any more respect when the Democrats decide that they’re no longer useful?

1. Troutwaxer says:

And where is “Joe the Plumber” these days? or Karl Rove, for that matter.

1. William O. B'Livion says:

Joe the Plumber got audited, had his 15 minutes and was out of sight before the Obama administration ended.

Rove is doing his thing.

2. Mark Langsdorf says:

Karl Rove is on Fox at least a couple of times a month. He’s not as prominent as he was, because he used to be the adviser to a sitting President and he hasn’t been that for a while.

Joe the Plumber was a 2012 Republican congressional candidate. He lost, but it was a heavily Democratic district and there’s no evidence that the party did not support him.

As far as your what aboutism goes, you might at least try to find analogous people. Was there a prominent anti-Obama protester that the Republicans claimed had “absolute moral authority” and then ignored after Trump was elected? I’m not aware of one.

2. >Essentially, the NRA has locked this possibility so far outside the Overton window that I simply can’t imagine it happening in my lifetime.

There have been stretches for as long as three years or so at a time since 2008 when I’d have said exactly this – then some Democratic pol or captive pundit would start talking confiscation and be near-smothered in media fawning and sage nodding heads .

Thus, I feel it’s generally responsible to periodically issue reminders that if you try this, we are going to kill you – because I don’t want to see the confrontation develop that far.

I feel specifically responsible because I pass pretty much all the cultural filters for blue-state urban elite – you know, Ivy League education and summers on Nantucket and the whole deal. That makes me less ignorable than someone my SES peers can dismiss as a trucker-hatted hick.

>1.) The warrant to seize anyone’s guns will be a no-knock warrant.

I’m sure they’d like to do it that way, but do you have any concept of how that would complicate their logistics and slow their operational tempo? I don’t think it would be practical, at all.

>2.) You don’t win a fight like this defensively.

You may be right, but if the confiscation order goes down somebody’s got to be targeted in the first N raids before the gun culture realizes Der Tag has come and it’s time to go to war on the grabbers. A prudent person will not assume he gets to sit out that phase.

Besides…in this case I’m not sure you’re right. Our numbers on them are so big that we can afford to fight a defensive war. Every man and vehicle they lose hurts them waaay more than it hurts us. And the value of not being seen as aggressors in this conflict is quite high. If I were generalling this thing I would try to delay the move to offensive operations long enough for the general public to get a well-fixed idea that the grabbers are the bad guys.

>3.) Remember that taking out the tactical vehicle is every bit as important as taking out the people.

You are absolutely right, but [insert joke about teach Grandma to suck eggs here.]

>4.) If you are seriously concerned about this or similar issues, read John Robb’s blog from the very earliest post and also read his book.

I have corresponded with him.

>5.) [Civil forfeiture.]

Happily SCOTUS may be about to curtail this line of attack.

1. Jay Maynard says:

About taking out tactical vehicles…just what does it take to put a round through an engine block, anyway? I don’t think I’ve got any weaponry heavy enough.

And what leads you to think SCOTUS may be about to do something about civil forfeiture?

1. >About taking out tactical vehicles…just what does it take to put a round through an engine block, anyway? I don’t think I’ve got any weaponry heavy enough.

Dunno that I do either. But you don’t have to accomplish that for a mission kill that will take it out of service for a good while, either.

>And what leads you to think SCOTUS may be about to do something about civil forfeiture?

A notice I saw on Instapundit a few days back. Alas, I can’t find it now.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Hrm. Mission kill. A couple of rounds through the radiator would do that, but I would expect that’s going to be fairly well guarded. Shooting out the tires? This ain’t Hollywood, and they’re probably run-flats, anyway. The gas tank? Not gonna go boom like a rear-ended Pinto, but could be a mission kill anyway. A turbocharger on a diesel would be interesting; if you strike the turbine, you may well throw it far enough off balance to start dumping oil into the intake. Hello, runaway diesel.

What else makes a mission kill? I can’t think of anything big enough to hit with small arms at any kind of distance that’s critical enough to vehicle operation to make it quit running and driving.

1. > I can’t think of anything big enough to hit with small arms at any kind of distance that’s critical enough to vehicle operation to make it quit running and driving.

Star the front windshield. Make it undrivable.

Feds might have actual bulletproof glass and run-flats and real vehicular armor. State and local SWAT? Maybe. Local cops? No, except maybe in a few large cities.

1. Jay Maynard says:

If you star the windshield, they can at least get out of Dodge by knocking it all the way out. Won’t be fun, but they’ll get out of the kill zone.

1. >If you star the windshield, they can at least get out of Dodge by knocking it all the way out. Won’t be fun, but they’ll get out of the kill zone.

Right, I get that. But they’re not going to start a raid with the windshield blown out. It’s a way to take the vehicle out of service until they can get it re-glassed.

1. Jay Maynard says:

True. OTOH, I’m not sure I’d classify that as a mission kill. To me, that should apply to something that requires a wrecker.

2. Dan says:

I imagine a bunch of rounds through the hood/grill of regular vehicles may do enough damage to electrical/fluid conduits to disable them…likely not *instantly* though.

You really need a serious .50 cal round to do damage to an engine block if you want to brick the vehicle in a hurry.

1. >You really need a serious .50 cal round to do damage to an engine block if you want to brick the vehicle in a hurry.

Hm. Does this mean Desert Eagles have a use other than as ridiculous display objects?

1. Troutwaxer says:

It might be easier to brick a(n automatic) transmission, at least in terms of what caliber of bullet would be required, but you’d have to be awfully close to the vehicle at that point, and I’d hate to try making that show while under heavy fire.

1. Jay Maynard says:

Problem with trying to hit the transmission is that it’s underneath a lot of stuff, so you have to punch through several layers of body to get to it. Yeah, if you punch a hole in it, it’s a mission kill, but making that shot is probably harder than putting something big through the engine.

1. Troutwaxer says:

I wondered why we were in complete agreement and you were correcting me, but then I realized that I’d mis-spelled “shot” as “show.”

What I tried to write was “I’d hate to try making that shot while under heavy fire.”

2. Jay Maynard says:

I wasn’t correcting you, I was expanding on your observation.

3. Troutwaxer says:

Got it.

After considering the issue for a little while, I’m wondering whether the mission-kill might be better handled with via a some kind of incendiary, (assuming a decent way to aim such a thing.)

2. Jay Maynard says:

I think Dan meant .50 BMG. They don’t make Desert Eagles in that caliber…and part of me wants to append “yet”.

1. Dan says:

You are correct…typo of omission.

If there is ever a .50 BMG handgun, I’ll be looking for some Adamantium reinforcement for my wrists, elbows, shoulders & cervical vertebrae ;)

1. >They are not practical weapons.

Hm…judging by what I saw in the video, I could shoot that. Dude didn’t stagger or anything.

2. Dan says:

Nope. Just. Nope.

‘Not practical’ is an understatement ;)

3. Dan says:

As Jay mentioned, below, I meant .50 BMG.

Hey, the DE is a fine handgun. Unfortunately, retarded Hollywood ‘culture’ has seized upon its formidable size in a way that is as laughably ridiculous as Dirty Harry’s .44Mag model 29 was awesome.

The DE .50 shoots so much better than I imagined. I thought it would be brutal, it isn’t. The first shot or two will surprise you, but then you’ll adjust and tighten everything up. I enjoyed it.

I don’t own one though. Fuck that. ;)

1. Jay Maynard says:

I’d love to try a DE .50 I’ve shot a S&W 500, and it wasn’t as bad as you might think, as long as yon don’t try to prevent the recoil. I wound up letting it pivot in my grip, just making sure it didn’t come completely out of my hand.

1. Troutwaxer says:

Or maybe an Elephant Gun?

It would probably be expensive, but I suspect it would penetrate an engine block.

2. Dan says:

I have yet to try a S&W 500. As soon as I get an opportunity, I certainly will.

The DE gets a bad rap because of all the fantasy bullshit that has accreted in its orbit. It’s a fine piece of engineering, and shoots well. I’m sure you’ll dig it when you get the chance ;)

2. clark e myers says:

A notice I saw on Instapundit a few days back. Alas, I can’t find it now.

The reference was more specifically to addressing excessive fines – a constitutional issue – carrying over to civil forfeitures.

The Court would limit any comment on civil forfeiture to dicta I suppose. The significance is more that the Court is willing to take a case touching on the issues. Again I suppose because the abuse has reached a level the Court is unwilling to let it pass. Any dicta with a strong majority on not just the result but the opinion might be specific enough that a lower court failure to follow would be heard fairly quickly.

2. perlhaqr says:

All the way through an engine block is going to take a serious round. Through a single cylinder wall / water jacket? I’m pretty sure you could get that with some .308 AP rounds.

2. Troutwaxer says:

And the value of not being seen as aggressors in this conflict is quite high.

That’s a good point.

3. clark e myers says:

A notice I saw on Instapundit a few days back. Alas, I can’t find it now.

June 20, 2018
LET’S HOPE: Supreme Court Will Hear Case on the Excessive Fines Clause that Could End Up Curbing Asset Forfeiture Abuse.
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Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:47 am

The reference is to an article by Ilya Somin writing as Volokh Conspiracy in Reason.

I’m inclined to agree with Hugo Black that if the Bill of Rights is applied to the states at all under the post Civil War amendments then it by rights ought to be all or nothing and not nothing.

4. William O. B'Livion says:

>1.) The warrant to seize anyone’s guns will be a no-knock warrant.

I’m sure they’d like to do it that way, but do you have any concept of how that would complicate their logistics and slow their operational tempo? I don’t think it would be practical, at all.

Troutwaxers point is wrong–it won’t be a no-knock warrant BECAUSE IT WON’T BE A WARRANT. It will be a “extra-constitutional” confiscation.

There will be no adjudication in the courts because this would no longer be a country of law.

There are YUGE problem with the notion that either the military OR the police, much less both, could be mobilized to confiscate our weapons. First it’s not a plan you conceive, plan, and execute between 5 PM and dawn the next morning–not on a nationwide scale.

Information would leak–after all it wants to be free, right? There are a lot of police and a LOT of soldiers who believe strongly in the right to keep and bear arms. They would tell two friends who would tell two friends and some people wouldn’t hear, but many would. Many wouldn’t *believe*, until it started.

Then it would *ON*. Given the average IQ of people in this country it would be worth your life to be in a *security guard* uniform, much less be a cop.

What most people don’t realize–in addition to the sheer scale of the problem–is that THERE ARE NO GOOD LISTS of gun owners. And the more one has attempted to evade being on any of those lists, the more *likely* they are to be willing to fight back.

They only buy used guns face to face (doesn’t require an FFL) using cash. They only us cash when buying ammo. They aren’t members of the NRA, they don’t get gun magazines etc. There’s no place for the data warehousing machinery to get a grip on them. And they do that because they DON’T want the midnight knock on the door. This was my father, sort of. Who in EVERY OTHER way was entirely lower middle class. He wasn’t a prepper, we barely had a weeks worth of can goods in the house–and that was because my mom bought bulk on sale, not out of any stock piling.

Which isn’t to say people ON those lists would be less willing to fight back. My only disagreement with my father on this issue is that (1) the longer the list is the less likely they are to go after it. (2) When they DO start to use that list, well, it’s time to start shooting anyway.

5. Tom Perkins says:

Consider the ubiquity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer–it or it’s equivalent must be made in the millions of tons every year or we starve. It must be distributed widely and handled by only the few people involved in agriculture (because we can’t have a zampolit for every farmer, too obvious, too costly). It is easily re-purified, ground, and mixed with powdered aluminum; trade name Tannerite. It can only be set off by a potent shockwave, as from a high velocity round, it’s intended use is as a reactive target for long range target shooting.

Consider that it can be pressed to a close order to solid density, and the volume in the vicinity of an exploding bridgewire lightly salted with sulfur to increase it’s sensitivity, and that may not even be needed, bridgewires can be fairly juicy (or Jouley).

I fully expect any confiscation effort to collapse along with the government within a month.